Taking Advantage of Google+
“The Facebook Killer”. The next generation of social networking. There have been lots of monikers attached to Google+, and while it is still too early to claim that the social media site lives up to these boasts, there is little doubt that it is, in many ways, something newer and quite likely better than we have seen before.
Google+ seems to take the best features of sites like Facebook and Twitter and put them into one social network, while also removing many of the common hindrances and sources of complaint from those networks. The end result is a social network that, while it is currently only sparingly populated, is user friendly and the type of well-designed network that many of us had hoped for back when Google Buzz was going to be “the next big thing”.
What Google+ Has Going for It
There are a number of great things about Google+. It is incredibly easy to use, and it makes sharing only with the people you want to share with easier than other networks. You have the ability to create what the site refers to as Circles, or groups of friends. Each group can consist of whoever you like, and the same friend can be in as many circles as you like. This means if you want a circle of friends you can share anything with, and a circle of friends that you only share certain things with, you can easily set this up. Family members, coworkers, etc. can all have their own groups. It is also worth noting that you can name the circles anything you want, and your friends will NOT know the names of the circles they have been placed in. If you want to create a group called “people I added because I felt guilty saying no”, feel free. They will never know.
When you post on Google+, you will be asked which circles you want to be able to see your post. You can choose one or more of your circles, you can select “My Circles” to share with everyone on your list, or you can choose to make it public. It’s quite simple, takes only a moment, and eliminates the risk of accidentally sharing the tale of the drunken bachelorette party to your fiancé’s grandmother.
Google+ has more than just the Circles feature going for it. Thus far, users have not been able to find a character limit for posts. While this could be more of a pain when there are lots more people on the site taking advantage of it to ask you to repost something or bad things will happen, right now the site is populated largely by techies, writers, and a few celebs, and it is actually allowing for more insightful posting.
Making the Most of Google+
For most users right now, the number of people you know on Google+ is going to be fairly limited, even if you have a lot of tech-oriented friends. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It gives you a chance to really navigate the site and find your voice without the feeling that everyone you know is watching. And because the site is really packed with insightful, technically minded people right now, it is a great time to actually reach out and add new people to your circles. Searching users is incredibly easy, and like Twitter, you don’t have to get permission to add someone. It’s a great time to find people with shared interests and add them. Strike up a conversation with a stranger, read some interesting content, and find people around the world who share your likes. It’s actually surprisingly fun.
Google+ is packed with opportunity, but only time will tell whether or not the site lives up to all of its potential or not. Users who got into the beta program have had a surprisingly good time with Google+ so far, and many have found it to be a great place to share their thoughts, writings, and musings. It’s proven to be a great place for tech minded businesses to reach potential new clients and customers and is simply a great place to engage. Google+ may or may not be the network that kills Facebook, but it is definitely something worth checking out!
However, latest data from Alexa suggests that people are losing interest in Google+.
- Top 10 Social Networking Sites by Market Share of Visits [July 2011]
- Social Media Weekend: All You Need to Know About Google+
- First Impressions of Google+ and How it Hopes to Trump Facebook
- 150 Google+ Invites!
This guest post was written by Pamela Velazquez from www.RecordsProject.com.