Google’s answer to Facebook, Google+, is a little more than three years old. It has many similarities to Facebook, but also some unique features that really make it stand out. Since it’s so awesome, it’s certainly got to be worth your time to join, right?
Well, it depends. Who are you and what are you looking to accomplish? It’s best to look at this from two different angles to see what you might gain.
First, take a look at Google plus from the perspective of a business owner. According to Alison Zeringue of Search Influence, there are many benefits for businesses to be on Google+. First, it integrates with G mail and YouTube, making it easier to steer potential customers from one site to the next. Next, Google+ helps with search engine optimization in general, connecting “Google-rs” to your Google+ profile. Also, it allows you to record video chats in “Hangouts”, which could be used for marketing purposes and for supplying content to attract visitors to your site.
On the other hand, imagine the perspective of joining a new network purely for social or recreational purposes. Google+ has the ability to store and sort your photos, it can even recognize photos to automatically tag them. You can put your contacts into “circles” , so you can choose to connect with “relatives” “coworkers”, “classmates” or how ever you chose to set up your personal circles. However, Google+ has significantly less users than Facebook. Of those that have memberships, there is a high number who are not very active, some not even knowing they have a profile, as one gets set up with every G mail account automatically. Personally, I created an account for research purposes and found very few people I know while trying to set up contacts. I did, however, find several physicians and a handful of administrators from the healthcare organization in which I work.
Time Magazine’s Harry McCracken calls Google+ a “beautiful disappointment”.
My personal conclusion on this is that I will recommend to my husband, a small business owner, that he get his Google+ set up right away to draw attention to his business. For my own social use, however I think of it this way: Just like California seems like a warm, wonderful and exciting place to live, I continue to live in Minnesota because that’s where my friends and family are. My friends and family are on Facebook, so for now, I’ll stay there too.
Classmates, what do you think of Google+?