by Hector Cisneros
There is a lot of hype associated with the launch of Google+ and every product has its advocates and critic’s. Google+ is no exception. When a giant internet player like Google says, they are getting into social networking, I pay attention. This article provides a quick overview of Google+ and its features. It will compare Google+ with the current leader Face Book to demonstrate their differences.. It will also give you an overview of the neat features that only Google+ currently has.
Face Book is the current gold standard in the social media world. Whether you love Face Book or feel they are purposefully trying to make you mad, is irrelevant, They are at the top. The current discontent over changes in Face book has some people up in arms. However, it is yet to be seen if this has an impact on whether Google+ can make an inroad versus the social media giant.
Regardless of what you think about Face Book, here are several reasons why Google+ will make a dent in the social networking arena, even if it’s only taking market share from other networks. First, Google+ is extremely easy to join and use. If you are a Gmail subscriber, it’s a matter of a few clicks and then filling in your basic profile info. This process only takes but a few minutes to complete, especially if you are cutting and pasting from face book.
If you’re a Gmail subscriber, some of your contacts will automatically be imported for you. Some of names in your contact list will automatically populate and begin the process of creating your circles of influence. You will simply drag and drop people from your list into predefined circles or create circles of your own.
Speaking of the circles function, it is one of the coolest features that Google+ has to offer. It seems much more intuitive and easier to use than the one provided currently by Face Books. This interface allows you to organize your contacts into groups that appear as circles, literally. There are a few predetermine groups, but you can customize them all you want and people can belong to as many different circles as you desire.
Circles also allow you to filter your news feed (called the stream in Google+ ), so that your circle selection becomes your stream feed control. In other words, the circle you select can determine whose post you are watching. It can limit your view of which posts are streamed into view. Changing your view is easy and intuitive. Some of the simplicity that Google+ demonstrates is by design. Its clean and uncluttered look is chiefly due to the fact that Google+ is new, and is therefore unencumbered with all the trappings that come with a mature social media site. Either way, I believe you will appreciate the clean, easy to use, and fun interface Google+ has to offer.
Speaking of other fun features, Google+ has two worth mentioning. The first is Hangouts. Google+ provides a video Chat room for groups of people. You can video chat, share You Tube videos, invite others and have a real online video conversation with several people. This is a face to face conversation. You need a video camera and microphone attached to your computer to use this service effectively. Most laptops and tablet computers come with this as a standard item making video chat a snap. This is a cool feature which I am sure will get lots of use. I believe the maximum number of people that a Hangout session will hold is probably limited by your screen size and the speed of your internet connection. Between six to twelve people will probably work well. After that, it will probably seem crowded. I suggest you check this feature out and start thinking of all the cool ways you could use this service.
Another feature that I genuinely like is the games Google+ includes. Unlike Face Book games, Google+ has a game's menu built in. The variety of games they offer is extensive. It includes 18 games like Anger Bird, Bejeweled Blitz, City Ville, Diamond Dash, Dragons of Atlantic, Crime City, Sudoku Puzzles, City of Wonder and Zynga Poker just to name a few. All of these games are designed to be shared socially. Even Angry Birds lets you to share your score so you can play against your friends.
So there you have it, a quick overview of the buzz surrounding Google+ and how it compares to Face Book. Google+ is still extremely new, and it currently does not offer the number of subscribers, features and maturity that Face Book or LinkedIn offer. Having said that, Google+ is extremely user friendly, easy to navigate and provides several new, innovative features’. Features like circles, hangouts and the integrated games provide a high cool factor for most users. Add to this all the other Google applications and properties you have access to, (Google is prodigious), and you have the beginnings of a social media contender. It may not be a Face Book or LinkedIn killer yet, but its innovative approach and connections to Google’s vast library of applications and internet properties will help it to receive rapid adoption and meteoric growth.
That’s my Opinion, what’s yours?