For those of you who don’t know, Google+ is Google’s attempt to crack into the world of Social Networking. Google+ is similar to Facebook, but has some features that bring it to a new level. I want to talk a little bit about these features and the uphill battle ahead for Google+.
Circles – Circles is one of the best features that Google+ has which has (so far) not been implemented on Facebook. The idea behind circles is that when you share information on a social networking site, you don’t always want to share certain information with everyone. If I’m an accountant hosting a seminar on tax/accounting advice, I might only share this information with my circle of friends who are business people. If I am 21, and I just had an epic night out on the town… I might just want to share the rough morning after with my circle of friends who are classmates. In real life, you only share certain information with certain people… why shouldn’t this be true with social media?
Link for more info (Optional): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeMZP-oyOII&feature=relmfu
Hangouts – Hangouts is a type of video chat service. The idea behind hangouts (seems to) create an environment where people who are available can get together, chat, and perhaps plan something spontaneously. You can create a public hangout and friends who are also logged on can see you created one, and join in. In the hangout, one of participants fills a large screen and several small ones run along the bottom. I also see practical business use for this feature for virtual meetings, seminars, etc.
Link for more info (Optional): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QN38vHZjWXw&feature=relmfu
Sparks – Sparks is a feature which serves relevant web content to you (articles, videos, etc.) based on your interests and the contents popularity. It then makes it easy for you to share that content with circles (mentioned earlier) who would also appreciate the same content.
Link for more info (Optional): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DoAl4JXhQo
These are only a few of the features which at first glance appears to put Google+ miles above Facebook as a social networking website.
The Uphill Battle For Google+
While it is a superior website (in my opinion), Google+ has an uphill battle ahead of it. The main issue for me is, all of my stuff is already on Facebook. All of my friends are there, photos for the last 6 or 7 years are there, my notes, my favorite links, etc. As a bit of a social networking junkie, this is how I feel… so I have to assume your casual social networking users would feel the same.
I think of the uphill battle being similar to Mozilla Firefox. For those who don’t know, Mozilla Firefox is a web browser like Internet Explorer, except better. It has been around for a long time and was adopted quickly by computer nerds & geeks seeking a superior alternative to Internet Explorer. If you had the computer guy in your family help set up your computer, he probably set you up with Mozilla Firefox. Over the years, word has spread and it’s usage has gone up however to this day Internet Explorer still dominates the market… I think simply because it is simple to use and is pre-installed on everyone’s operating system.
In other words, this explains the mostly male population on Google+, which is around 7/10 users at this point. The computer nerd/social networking junkie is adapting this superior product quickly… but for your average person, I could see it taking years before making a decision to use Google+ as your social media site of choice.
What are your thoughts on Google+ and will you join? Let me know if you would like me to send you an invite.