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Google Makes Pitch, Launches First Field Tests of New Social Network

It remains at the forefront of search engines and smartphones, but Google is looking to expand even further. The company made a formal pitch Tuesday to launch a social network called Google+, offering a happy medium for users who feel they overshare information on Facebook and undershare on Twitter.

Like Facebook and Twitter, which have worked to connect users with similar interests, Google+ — a project developed under the code name Emerald Sea — plans to use components including “the stream” — a continuous scroll of personalized updates similar to Facebook’s news feed — and Circles, a management tool that allows users to control and share information.

CEO Larry Page has involved hundreds of engineers in Google+’s development, making it a project of premier focus for a company that critics say should focus on the strength of its algorithms rather than social interaction.

“We’re transforming Google itself into a social destination at a level and scale that we’ve never attempted — orders of magnitude more investment, in terms of people, than any previous project,” Vic Gundotra, leader of Google’s social efforts, told Steven Levy of Wired.

With the first field tests outside the company currently being conducted and the results kept under wraps, the potential of Google+, as well as comparisons to other social networking sites, remain to be seen. But as a global entity with 1 billion unique monthly visitors to its websites and its status as a trusted brand solidified, the potential for success is certainly there.

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