There’s a new kid in town: Google +

Are you in Google+ yet?  Google launched a private of Google+ on June 28, 2011. The project is led by Vic Gundotra, Google’s SVP of social. It’s the newest and hottest social network!  According to Mashable, in just three weeks Google’s competitor to Facebook and Twitter has amassed more 10 million users and its users are sharing more than 1 billion pieces of content daily. It’s become a hotbed of early adopters, tech luminaries, marketers and businesses around the world.

In my experience with Twitter and Facebook, Google+ is the best of both worlds! You aren’t  limited to 140 characters and the message stream still  moves as efficiently as Twitter. People can follow you twitter-style; without asking and vice-versa.





But some of my favorite features are:

Circles – Google+ allows you to create categories called circles and place people into those circles; this allows you to manage conversations. In other words you can direct conversations to specific circles. No one else can see it!

Hangouts – Multi video conference! How cool is that? You can meet with clients, consumers or friends by just selecting “Start a Hangout” and anyone–up  to 10 participants–can join you!

Sparks – Find your topics of interest, save it as a favorite interest and share post and information daily!

Huddle – Group texting service via mobile

+1  The Google+ equivalent of “Like” or “RT” is  the famous “+1” you now begin to see in blogs and other online pages making easy for you to “Like” the page.  This is instrumental in your SEO positioning. Remember; Google Likes Google! The more +1’s you have on your page the faster and quicker you will ascend your positioning in Google searches!!

I want to leave you with a great list courtesy of Ben Parr/Mashable:  

  • Design: Aesthetically, it’s all Google — minimalist with plenty of white space. Nobody is going to complain about the design, but nobody is going to cheer about it, either.
  • Usability: Google+ isn’t overwhelmed by its many features. It’s easy to navigate and its icons speak for themselves. After a few minutes of exploring, I quickly got the hang of it.
  • Google+ Stream: The core of Google+ is the Stream, which doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s a lot like Google Buzz or the Facebook News Feed.
  • Google+ Circles: Circles is well-implemented. It’s far easier than creating a Twitter List or a Facebook Friend List. The drag-and-drop functionality is a welcome addition, and the cute animations that appear when you perform actions give the product personality. That doesn’t necessarily mean users will take the time to create friend groups.
  • Google+ Profiles: Google+ Profiles essentially port the existing data on your Google Profile. There’s nothing particularly special about Google+ Profiles, yet. One of the nice things is that it includes a Tabs feature, where users can add content from their Google Buzz or their Google +1s. This feature already exists on Google Profiles, but we bet developers will be able to add tabs to Google Profiles in the future, customizing and personalizing profiles.
  • Google+ Hangouts: Hangouts is one of the more innovative concepts of Google+, and we think it’s a cool approach to getting users to accept group video chat. The camera switching feature (it changes who’s on camera based on who’s talking) is far superior to having multiple video feeds open at the same time. That said, it will require users checking their Google+ streams every day for potential chats to join. If Google+ gains traction, Hangouts will be a killer feature.
  • Google+ Sparks: Sparks may end up being Google+’s most underrated feature. The company has essentially created a recommendation engine without calling it one. It’s designed to augment Google+, and if it works as Google designed it, it will create winners and losers in the publishing world, making Google +1 buttons actually matter. Before that becomes a reality though, it needs traction and it should consider acquiring advanced content recommendation technology from a company like Trapit or my6sense.
  • Google+ Photos: The photo editor is essentially Facebook photos but with a photo editor. It’s quick and well-organized, making it a welcome addition to Google+. It should take a cue from Instagram and create simple ways to make photos more “artistic” and personalized.
  • Mobile: The mobile version of Google+ is really simple, which is fine for a first release. It only has two unique features: instant photo uploads and Google+ Huddle. Instant photo uploads is a cool idea, but we worry about auto-uploading all of our photos for privacy reasons. We can see some users not being happy about auto-uploads, even if the albums they’re uploaded to are private. This could potentially create a lot of “garbage.”
  • Google+ Huddle: Huddle is basically a group-texting feature for the Circles you create. It makes sense as a product, but it isn’t terribly exciting. I’m going to stick with GroupMe for now.

So give it a try and let us know your thoughts about it! Follows us in Twitter and in Facebook and share with us your tips for Google+

Glad to connect!

Jeannette Baer

Social Media Chair