China quickly blocked Google's newest offering Google+, a service that promises a better social networking experience than Facebook's. The Google+ service was not available to Chinese users, New York's Daily News said, citing sources.
According to reports, Google+ was available only to an exclusively small number of people in China after the Communist regime pounced on the social networking service immediately after it was unveiled. China, which has banned Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Foursquare in the country, went one up on its enduring grudge match with global search giant Google by blocking Google+.
This was the quickest blockage I can remember. ... The speed with which they moved to block Google+ was surprising, but I couldn't be less surprised to see it blocked, the Daily News quoted China Internet analyst Sage Brennan as saying.
China has historically discouraged online forums with a political tinge and has been wary of all foreign social networking sites. The fears grew following the Arab spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Libya, which were fanned by social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Google's troubles with the Chinese government are not new. Last year, Google decided to pull its search engine from mainland China, instead of continuing under a Chinese censoring. In recent months, there were allegations that Chinese hackers had broken into Google's mail service, Gmail.
According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ James Lewis, Chinese authorities are afraid of social networks. “They’re particularly afraid of American social networks. They think the U.S. government uses them to destabilize China,” Lewis told the Daily News.
With the launch of Google+, the search giant sought to redefine the future of search and rectify the alleged imperfections of the Facebook model of social networking. A post on a Google+ blog claims the Facebook model of social networking is sloppy, scary and 'insensitive, without naming Facebook directly. Google says the way we connect with people has to be reworked drastically to accommodate myriad sensitivities, nuances and angles.
Google says the existing social networking model has lowered friendship into the status of fastfood, where people wrap everyone in friend paper.
The gun is trained at the Facebook way of social networking in which everyone is a friend, and hardly any distinction is possible as to at what levels one relates to each friend. And you are bombarded with what all the friends are sharing, without being able to pick and choose who you would like to interact with and what level.
Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss, says the post.
Google+ offers an altogether different model of social networking. The core of Google+ is a feature called Circles, which helps a member organize different kinds of friends at various levels and control the way process of sharing.
We only want to connect with certain people at certain times, but online we hear from everyone all the time, says the blog. If a Facebook member has 100 friends or more he/she frets over the idea of posting anything since everything is seen as a stage performance. ... so we often share less because of stage fright. And then, we define “friend” and “family” differently, in our own way, on our own terms.
There are also a host of other features like +Sparks (Strike up a conversation, about pretty much anything), +Hangouts (stop by and say hello, face-to-face-to-face), +Mobile (share what’s around, right now, without any hassle), +Location, +Instant Upload, +Huddle and +You.