Google+ is a social media networking site, similar to (but NOT the same as) Facebook, that is currently under development.
“Another social media site!” I hear you cry.
Firstly, yes….. another one! But this is a good thing. Facebook has dominated the social media scene with its revolutionary concept, intuitive design and user-friendly interface – it now boasts over 600 million users. However, there are still areas within Facebook that could be improve on.
“So is Google+ better than Facebook?”. Well …. erm…. It’s definitely different (and too early to say)!
The closest existing social media to Google+ is definitely Facebook. The format is the same. You can create a personal profile, update your details, find and follow people, add pictures, videos and music and then post them for other people to enjoy. It also incorporates +1 (the Google equivalent of Facebook’s ‘Like’ function) and ‘share’ buttons throughout posts and it also appears in Google searches next to each web page.
“So what makes Google+ different from Facebook?” Well I’m glad you asked!
The single most useful feature that Google+ has that Facebook hasn’t been able integrate effectively is the ability to categorise contacts into separate lists known as circles. This is really clever because it makes it possible, for example, to separate all your friends into one circle, and to put family in a second and all your work colleagues in another. This is great because when you post content you can choose what circle it appears in, so none of your work colleagues (including your boss) can view the picture you posted of yourself, drunk up town, with a traffic cone on your head – if you don’t want them to.
Another great design feature is that you can create as many circles as you need and no one except you can see the names of the circles you have created or who’s in them. One use for this feature would be that if someone you know is clogging your news feed with unfunny jokes and other related spam you can put them in a circle, lets call it ‘annoying t*@#’s’ for example, and their feed won’t be removed without you having to delete them (technically the feed is still there but only viewable if you click that specific circle).
One aspect of circles that appeals to me more than anything else is the ability to post different content into different circles. As a Social Media Consultant I’m often blogging, posting and tweeting about useful tips and insider info on all thing Social Media but I’m also passionate about Art and spend my spare time designing. I already have a few design buddies circled on Google+ who may not be interested in my Social Media posts but like to follow my personal artwork projects. In a nutshell, Google+ allows me to be more targeted with the posts I share (this is any marketer’s dream!).