What Is Google+ And Should I Join?
What is Google+?
It is a combination of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook all rolled into one with a few extra features.
How does Google+ compare to LinkedIn?
Like LinkedIn, it is a place to network with other professionals, marketing your services, products and/or company.
Personally, I find Google+ is one step further with more personality and the ability to interact with others. I have an account on LinkedIn but feel it is boring like a government office. Google+ is like work with a fun conference room you can visit anytime you want.
I also don’t like the fact that LinkedIn wants to access personal email accounts and use our information for advertising purposes. Invading a person’s life does not make me feel safe.
How does Google+ compare to Facebook?
The biggest selling point thus far is their “circles” feature. You can categorize your friends, acquaintances, coworkers, family and networking people in any lists you choose and in anyway you want; you name the groups. When you post pictures or comments you decide who sees and reads them. No more embarrassing moments when your mom sees highlights of parties you’ve attended or bosses seeing your opinion of your workplace.
Google versus Facebook depends a great deal on why you are on a social networking site.
As of this writing Google+ doesn’t have any advertising on our pages. I don’t see that lasting. Companies have to make money somehow and they don’t charge a membership fee so advertising is the most obvious way to do that but for now we are ad free.
If you make a post or you comment on someone’s page you can edit it. That’s one of my favorite things. Sometimes we write something but our fingers don’t cooperate or we get in too big of a hurry and then later wish we could edit our typing. Google+ lets you do that anytime you choose, even deleting the whole thing if you come to your senses and realize that wasn’t what you wanted to say after all.
They don’t have invasive games like Farmville. There is a button you can click on to play games, I don’t participate so I couldn’t say what they have available but the biggest plus is that they don’t post updates on everyone’s site about what cow someone has purchased and continually trying to get people to join mobs.
You can post as long of a status update as you like. Facebook’s limit can be a problem sometimes if you have a lot to say.
You can post jpeg pictures. People are having a ball with that one and some of them are fun to watch.
They have a chat feature where you can webcam with another person if you want. They even have a group conference feature so you can talk on webcam with a designated number of individuals. I haven’t checked out either of these but could see it being appealing to many people.
How does Google+ compare to Twitter
Twitter limits the length of your comments making it difficult to post very much at a time.
You can use hashtags or pound symbols "#" to help place on Google's search feed plus anything you post on Google+'s public thread will show up on the main search feed.
Google+ has an immediate response just like Twitter so you get blog updates, news information or whatever your friends post.
Twitter is good for posting updates of what you are working on, or doing and fun sayings that you wrote or quoting famous people. It isn’t easy to interact with others and I thought that would be their downfall but there are people who enjoy making quick comments and don't necessarily want an answer to their remarks.
What are the negative points of Google+?
There aren't as many people as you find on Facebook so you may not be able to find your usual friends. You can try to get them to join.
There has been a little bad press, just like when Facebook started out, over people using their “real names.” And just like Facebook they have relaxed that rule especially for those who use an online pseudonym that is well known by their fans.
In the beginning you couldn't add a business or product but that is changing. You can have a fan page just like on Facebook for your book or webpage.
Some think that Google will be able to access more of our personal information analyzing our circles to see what kind of people we interact with, what we purchase and whom we read for marketing purposes. Possibly, but they all do that to some degree. That doesn’t bother me as much as LinkedIn trying to access my email account.
Some are predicting that if Google+ continues to grow in popularity like it has it will put LinkedIn and Twitter out of business. Facebook will lose money but will keep retired people and kids entertained with their games. Only time will tell.
Google owns a huge portion of the Internet world already: YouTube, Blogger, Gmail and of course Google the number one search engine. I expect big things from this social networking site.
At the moment they don’t have a blog feature or way to link your blog but they are making changes all of the time. I predict they will connect Blogger in some way in the future. I’ve had a Blogger account for many years now so I’m hoping that will happen.