Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus The site allows users to organize their online lives into "circles," which lets them keep photos and other information private from certain friends. The company is also promising to let users delete information from its servers, something Facebook has never done.
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Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus

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Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus

Facebook's Newest Challenger: Google Plus

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/137507567/137504389" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Now, NPR's Martin Kaste reports Google is trying something else.

MARTIN KASTE: The new social network is called Google Plus, and you aren't allowed to join it - at least not yet.

BRADLEY HOROWITZ: It's small but growing.

KASTE: VP Bradley Horowitz says Google Plus is still in field testing, so invitations have been sent only to a limited number of early adopters and journalists. It's similar to the rollout strategy for Gmail and Google Voice. And if the company is lucky, the perceived scarcity will build up demand, but for what exactly?

HOROWITZ: We created a system that is based on the concept of circles so that I can take my college friends and drag them into a circle called college buddies, and I can take my work colleagues and drag them into a circle called work friends and share selectively the parts of myself with each of those circles that I choose to.

KASTE: Unidentified Woman: To bust out those dance moves (unintelligible) you definitely need to know.

(SOUNDBITE OF PROMOTIONAL VIDEO)

KASTE: Mr. RICHARD ESGUERRA (Senior Activist, Electronic Frontier Foundation) They're trying to fix a lot of different things, not about their own approach to social networking and privacy, but also, I think, about the general social networking model. And for now, I think, you know, we're seeing a good start.

KASTE: Martin Kaste, NPR News, Seattle.

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