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Google Spaces: A New Social App For Small Groups

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Google has always been up with innovation and creating new products and this time Google has announced yet another product which is going to create a niche for itself. Google Spaces is a new app which looks like an amalgamation of Google+ communities and Hangouts along with the messaging feature.

Source: www.dnaindia.com

Source: www.dnaindia.com

Never been shy about creating new products, even though they compete with Google’s own products or overlap with each other. Google Spaces is one of them which was announced on May 16th. Google’s official announcement for Spaces is ‘a tool for small group sharing’. Correcting the downside of Google tool for small group sharing like Google+, you will not have to switch between several different apps in order to share stuff.

Spaces by Google comes with Google Chrome, Search, and Google’s unit YouTube within it. Thereby, lessening the burden of switching between apps. It has made the task of finding and sharing the content on spaces easy for its users. You can know what other people are saying about the content shared by you via the app and notifications. Needless to say, since it is a product of Google, the search part should be strong.

What’s different with Google Spaces?

As per the claims by Google, Spaces are topic centered. This USP of ‘Spaces’ keeps things in flow while other conversation mediums may eventually turn down into entirely different topics or side chats. Unlike traditional messaging apps such as Hangouts, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger, conversations are a fundamental aspect of Google Spaces.

The conversations are topic specific and not people centered. You can talk about activities like collecting images, videos, links that are interesting, or plan for next vacations etc. As of now there are 3 types of posts in Google Spaces: Photos, Links, and Texts.

The important thing to note is that they all open within the Spaces app if you are using it via a mobile device, so you don’t have to shuffle between apps. There is also an option of commenting on each individual post, and you can even continue a conversation while watching a video or reading a link. This app is not a replacement to Hangouts but you can still chat with individual people though that’s the last option among post types.

For Whom?

Google Spaces is mainly built for small groups of coworkers, family or friends who wish to discuss things of common interests or need to coordinate a plan.

Inviting friends to your spaces is easy and quick with sources like messaging, e-mails, and other social medias.

Getting Started with Google Spaces

For starting a space, you will have to open up the Spaces app or log in to spaces.google.com. You will see a home screen displaying your current spaces with an option to create a new one. There will be little avatar bubbles of current participants and an activity tab which will help you see recent posts and comments by the people of your small group.

There will be little avatar bubbles of current participants and an activity tab which will help you see recent posts and comments by the people of your small group.

An option of a blue arrow will help you to share something immediately. You just need to copy the photo or link in there. You can choose between posting it to the current space or create a new one for that item.

For clarity and ease of use, Google assigns a cover image and color to new spaces automatically, which you can change afterward. By clicking on the three dot menu and opting for ‘customize space’, you can change the name, choose cover images from the already there images or upload your own, and pick one of the nine color themes.

You can send people a link to join by choosing ‘Invite Via’. If you are on the Web, you can either choose social media or copy a link. Whereas the mobile apps give you an option of inviting people via a standard share sheet.

Post Types on Google Spaces

There are few options to post on Spaces. They are:

Photos

You can upload photos from either Google photos or camera roll. You can post numerous photos at once.

Links

You can copy and paste the URLs you wish to share. Image files and videos are automatically embedded. Talking about GIF files, they play automatically on your feed. If you are on mobile, you can leverage this for previewing URLs or Google Search.

Text

Though the formatting options are missing, you can still post plain text.

YouTube (for Mobile Only)

There are searches especially for YouTube videos and shows your past videos in order to make it quick and easy for you. For desktop, you can also choose to copy the URL but it is preferable to use it on mobile as it helps save you some taps.

Conversations

By clicking on ‘Say something’, you can post a comment on any post you like. There will be a completely new interface that includes embed photos or links, standard text messages and in fact stickers similar to Hangouts. A lot like Hangout, you can see the latest message read by someone.

You can also see the whole conversation by tapping on ‘See full conversation’ button present at the bottom of the screen.

Search

Needless to say, being a Google Product, it has to have a powerful search feature. The photo search is impressive. Google Spaces can look for the content inside your photos and not just a simple metadata search. For instance, if you have an image of Taj Mahal, and you type ‘monuments’, it will bring you to Taj Mahal’s photo.

However, it will only pick up photos you already have on the app and not from you online albums or a general web search. One more interesting feature is that it will search through you chat messages too!

Conclusion

Google is king of creativity and it has proved this with Google Spaces. What do you think about this new social app from Google?

Sakshi is a content marketer during the day and a reader by night. She writes content sprinkled with a twisted imagination. She has done her graduation in psychology from Delhi University and has an insane love for history.
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