One day shy of Google+’s first anniversary, Google has launched a new business-targeted element of its social networking platform called Google+ Events. Google+ Events works a lot like Evite or Eventbrite, only Google claims the crucial difference is that “the party doesn’t stop when the invitations go out.” Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice-President of Social Business for Google, talked at the company’s I/O keynote this morning, saying that the social planner’s feature called “Party Mode” sets it apart from the competition.
This is where it gets fun. When you enable and turn on Party Mode on your phone, all new photos taken by you and attendees (who are on Google+) will get added to the event’s landing page in real time, in a streaming slideshow. So as you snap photos, they’ll stream into the event itself so they can be easily viewed by attendees, live or later. There are also a few other snazzy features like the ability to add a personal greeting video to the homepage of the event and customize with different themes. Party Mode seems to be the real defining feature, however.
As an avid event-photographer (read: Twitpic’er), I like the idea of being able to take pictures at an event that are immediately posted somewhere, and can only be seen by those interested. Plus, it eliminates the process of getting home, uploading photos and tagging them on…oh, that’s right–Facebook. It’s no secret that this is Google+’s newest attempt to edge out the competition of social behemoth, Facebook, which is swiftly inching its way to 1 billion users, while Google+ lags behind with a “meager” 250 million.
So, while this feature is certainly fun and a nice entry into making live events and online events one and the same, Google still lacks the user base to make this a total success. Google is hoping that early-adopters and fan-boys and -girls will get their real-world “circles” on board, not just the ones already using Google+. Only time will tell if this feature will be enough to capture a wide enough audience to turn people away from Facebook.
So at the end of the day it may just come down to a question of, do you want to head to the “cool” new party? Or the one where all your friends already are?