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Google, Plus

by Kelly MacNeil on July 8, 2011

Google+ is still in its infancy, leaving many to wonder what the latest innovation by the search engine giant will entail. Chairman Eric Schmidt recently got together with reporters at the annual Allen & Co media gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho, to touch on what users can expect when the program opens.

One of the most talked about features so far is a video chat "Hangout" area, where people can get together with multiple friends and talk via webcam. O'Reilly Radar explains that it has already been a widely used aspect of Google+, both by families and businesses.

"It's obvious that the Google Plus team [is] not blindly copying Facebook or Twitter," the website writes. "They've set out to solve the problem that 'friend' or 'follower' doesn't accurately represent our social relationships and doesn't permit fine-grained sharing."

Furthermore, Schmidt hinted that he would love for Google+ to "have deeper integration with Twitter and Facebook." This indicates that he hopes to create a more comprehensive social network, one that doesn't force users to abandon their old profiles on other sites.

For its part, Facebook doesn't seem to want anything to do with Google. The relationship between the two companies has been known to be icy for a while. Most recently, the tension was characterized by a Google Chrome extension that was designed to allow people to export information about Facebook friends to other programs – something that Facebook immediately blocked, according to The Register.

Google is also being pressured by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which claims that the search engine has created a monopoly that biases internet use toward Google services, rather than those of competitors. Google runs approximately 69 percent of search results around the world, according to Reuters

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