When Google announced the Google+ project back in June 2011, like most people I was excited and skeptical. Being a devoted Facebook user, and having invested so much time in finding old friends and solidifying my profile I wasn’t to eager to start over. However as a tech-devotee I couldn’t help feel curiosity and hopped on the wave.
If you remember when Google+ was introduced in its beta stage, one could only be invited to join by a member. This lasted a few months do to the overwhelming demand. Even though a large amount of people had joined most users saw and treated Google+ as another social network. This disappointed a lot of people. And halted the hype surrounding Google+. For all of us who stayed and really examined what Google+ had to offer we discovered that more than socializing, we were networking. Connecting with people who shared our interests and passions.
• Circles– I know, I’m probably the 1000th person to mention this, but the option to categorize people by groups and manage the flow of information depending on your interests or social interaction can save a lot of time and benefit you. They don’t have to be your “friends” to be part of your circle, people can come and go as you see fit depending on how relevant they are to your particular needs. Circles give you the ability to organize your social and interest groups more efficiently. And you can create a circle for just about anything.
• Sharing – Controlling and targeting which information is sent to specific audiences is a great advantage found in Google+. Categorizing people in circles can pinpoint your thoughts, ideas and info to that exclusive group. Instead of using a “pre-set list” privacy settings to administrate all your posts. Google+ gives users the choice of which friend circles you can share content with. And vice versa, looking at specific information from a certain group and not be overwhelmed with senseless Mumbo-jumbo. To broaden even more the reach of the information G+ has the option of extended circles. This makes your content not just available to your immediate circle but also visible to the circles of your circles. This will let people who are interested in the same things you are be aware of your posts and give them the opportunity to view your content and connect with you if they wish.
• Chat Features– Integrating your Gmail, Google chat, Google video chat and even free national calling (USA) capabilities, one can communicate worldwide with people to: discuss projects, network and even live video call with Google+ Hangouts feature, where up to a 10 individuals can participate in a video chat. Google is currently working in expanding the number of people that can join.
• Integration- Working under the Google platform brings great advantages. Incorporating your new Google+ account with your existing Gmail, blog, and search engine will facilitate a flow of information. And with future add-ons and new developments, Google will know how to make the conversion effortless. Integration also makes having all your information under one roof.
• Commercial free- Unfortunately many social networks have fallen into ad placement. I understand taping into these markets is very profitable, but users do get fed up being bombarded with commercials, banners, and interruptions. In Google+ I haven’t seen any of that, and from what other users mention we aren’t expecting it, yet. This is greatly appreciated by users expanding their networks.
• Comparisons- As a user you will discover the small differences between Google+ and other social networks. Small details that individuals find more user friendly and convenient. Besides the ones mentioned before, users point out and compare elements such as: image sharing and tagging, privacy settings and mobile device connectivity. Each user and their preferences will determine this, but G+ has influenced other social networks to better themselves.
• Google listens to the user- One of the major factors to the success of Google+ is listening to the people and working with users to consistently improve the networks platform. Google will work with users to solve any problems they may encounter thanks to the advantage of contacting Google’s techs when needed. Regularly tweaking small details that may not be noticed by many, but has a positive impact in the Google+ experience, is what makes them more attractive.
To fully understand and appreciate all the qualities Google+ has to offer I invite you to explore, play, test and network with it. In my experience Google+ has helped me grow as a professional and network with experts around the world.
Author Miguel Mendez SEO Miami Specialist