The Thinking Mechanism is a series of weekly posts, published on Fridays, covering the ideas The Mechanism is thinking and talking about with our peers and clients.
Right before we all have a holiday weekend to spend time face to face with our circle of friends Google makes several announcements concerning the social web:
• Google+, their next foray into social networking after Orkut and Buzz, has a distinctly micro-social approach and user-friendly privacy settings. The fact that you can easily download any content you input into it and can easily delete your account with one click, if you chose to do so, proves that Google intends to compete with Facebook by providing ease of use. Click here to see the introductory videos. Click here to read a comprehensive look at the launch by Steven Levy of Wired Magazine.
• Google Analytics now features Social Interaction Tracking. Update your Analytics code and get full activity reports on all your social media buttons, including +1, Like, Tweet.
• Google Takeout allows you to download a copy of your data stored within Google products.
• Google Swiffy is not directly related to social networking, instead it lets you upload a swf file and convert it to HTML5. More HTML5 sites means access to the web in more mobile devices and more content to share on Google+.
• Let's not forget about Google search, they've also announced a collaboration with the Getty Museum to allow visual searches of artworks.
• What Do You Love? A new page that shows you the results of your search across all Google products in one location.
• On the other side of the social spectrum, Facebook is quietly testing their first major redesign in over a year. The new design, which some of us are already experiencing live, feature an additional "What's Happening Now" Twitter-like stream besides the News Feed and will have navigation and advertising elements remain static on the page as you scroll down.