In a Facebook world, sometimes it’s hard to imagine anything but that familiar blue bar up at the top of your web browser. On June 28th, Google set out to change the minds of the world. Google+(pronounced Google Plus) is the newest social network of Google and is growing quicker than anyone could imagine.Google+ has been characterized by some as the “Facebook Killer”. I don’t subscribe to that theory but I am going to give you a couple of good reasons to switch from your favorite social site. This is what I feel Google+ does better than other social networking websites.
- Circles – Facebook and Twitter both have lists to help organize your friends but neither of them has ever taken off. Google+ does an amazing job making circles required to keep your contacts and security settings organized right off the bat. I think the default Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following circles are perfect to help organize everyone and really keep track of the people you want to read from.
- Posting – Never be worried again as to who is going to be able to read your updates because Google+ makes it simple. Right between your post and the share button is the list of circles that you are sharing to. You can add and delete circles, post to just one person or even post to the general public. Whoever you end up posting to, you know exactly who will be seeing it.
- Hangouts – Facebook finally released video calling about a week after Google+ was released with Hangouts. While all your Facebook friends will be video chatting one-on-one, you will be hanging out with up ten people, all able to use video at the same time. Skype offers group video chat but they are still charging for that service as of right now.
- No APIs – So far, Google has not release an Application Programming Interface for developers to interact with and write programs for. What does this mean for the average user? No clutter, no games, no quizzes, no spam applications that people keep inviting you to. Some people like them, some people despise them. Hopefully we won’t be seeing Farmville on Google+ for a long, long time.
- No mutual friendship obligations – On Facebook, for someone to be your friend, you have to be their friend back even if you don’t want to read everything they post. Google+ takes a Twitter like approach to this, someone can add you to a circle and receive your posts but that doesn’t mean you need to put them in one of your circles. If you don’t want to read their posts, you don’t have to!
- The rest of the Google Applications – By registering for a Google+ account, you are signed up for a Google account which can be used transparently between all other Google applications including: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Picasa, Google Reader, YouTube and many more. If you aren’t using Google’s applications, you should be, they are great.
Right now, Google+ is still an invitation-only service, so you have to know someone to get in but it shouldn’t be to hard. On July 14th, sixteen days after launch, Google+ announced they had reached 10 million users and in three weeks they were up to 20 million users. It took both Twitter and Facebook years to get this many users.Another aspect that some women might want to take advantage of is that there are rumors that the male population on G+ is much larger than that of the females. Some of the numbers say that the number is as high as 85% male. Hurry up ladies, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Are you a member of Google+ yet? Do you think it’s better? Worse? What’s your favorite feature?
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