From Overseas Press

Google+ challenges Facebook in new battle

Updated: 2011-06-30 13:51
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Online search giant Google has launched a new social networking website in a bid to take on Facebook, which now has more than 500m users, says a report by the BBC.

The website, Google+, allows users to share photos, messages and comments and also integrates Google's maps and images into the service. It also aims to help users organize contacts within groups.

While Google claims the new service boasted of a number of new functions, some observers say it has simply added a video chat function before reproducing features of Facebook, according to the report.

Google has made several attempts to compete with Facebook in recent years. But its previous efforts ended in failure, with both Google Wave and Google Buzz proving unpopular with users.

The current version of Google+ has only been released to a limited number of users, according to the report, but Google said it hopes to make the social network soon available to the millions of users that access its services each day.

In April, Google reached an out-of-court settlement with a US policy group over its Google Buzz service. The legal action claimed Google deceived users and violated its own privacy policy by automatically enrolling all Gmail users in its Buzz social network without seeking prior permission.