By: Claudia Titolo Before all of you get all frantic, no, I’m not saying that Google will beat out Facebook or Twitter with Google+. I do think that they definitely figured it out this time around, though. Although that might seem unlikely after the #fail of Google Buzz, here are my five reasons.
Instead of copying other social networks on what they know works, Google decided to focus on what others are doing wrong.
Different from other networks, Google+ isn’t focused on allowing users to reach a mass audience. Instead, they’ve revolved their entire strategy around what we know as “lists”, which in this case, they call Circles. Utilizing Circles, users can drag and drop their friends into specific circles. Users can create a “Family” circle so that they don’t bother their “Book Club” friends with pictures from their family reunion. Google decided that they didn’t want to just include lists as an add-on to their new product, but to focus their entire strategy around it. This concept is what differentiates Google+ from anything else that is out there. It’s much easier to utilize a “list” functionality when that’s what you need to do from the very beginning, rather than trying to sort your dozens friends into new lists.
Google makes privacy settings easy. One of the main issues people run into with Facebook is the privacy settings. Generally, Facebook gives users an opt-out option rather than opt-in. In other words, when Facebook rolls out a new feature, the privacy settings are automatically set to be completely open. With Google+, you can easily decide who you want to share images, posts, and videos with.
Lastly, you can delete Google+ anytime you want, no questions asked. You can even download all of your Google+ data before you delete your account. We definitely cannot say the same for Facebook.
It’s Actually Pretty Cool!
Google didn’t just stop at sharing pictures, they went even further! Like Facebook, users can tag and share images. Unlike Facebook, users can edit photos with cool “instagram-like” features.
If you think that’s cool, wait until you start “hanging out”. Now, instead of just looking for friends that are online, users can use the Hang Out feature to let their friends know that they’re available to video chat. Users can then join in on the chat, creating a group chat. What’s even better is that the screen will show the video screen of whoever is talking at that time.
Dare I say it? When it comes to search, Google is still my number one go to place. There are just some things that I can’t rely on my friends to have. If I’m looking for a video, I’ll search for it on YouTube, which was bought by Google . If I’m looking for great photography, I’m going to look to Google. Probably the most important aspect of Google+, Sparks allows users to search and find content that is absolutely relevant to them. Although users can search for content on Facebook and Twitter, Google is still the place users go to find information that their friends or followers might not be able to provide them with. Google+ also automatically streams content into the newsfeed that they think is relevant to you based on the interests you list.
So, what does this mean for brands and organizations? Right now, not much, but if Google+ becomes popular, the focus could potentially shift back to SEO a little more. Of course, companies have never forgot about this, but the focus has lessened since networks like Facebook and Twitter became more popular.
Google+ on the Go
Google+ makes it easy to connect with your Circles. With features like Huddle, and their auto-upload functionality, the mobile app could be great. Huddle allows users to create a group chat based on their Google+ contacts. After you take a picture or video on your phone, Google+ automatically loads it to your account. You can then log in and share the photos with the people you want to share it with. Until then, the photos remain private.
Although Google+ is only available on the Android, there are plans to launch it on the iPhone.
When Google released Gmail way back when, they didn’t roll it out to everyone. They slowly invited users and created a ton of anticipation. After the fail of Google Buzz, they realized that maybe it doesn’t make sense to just go live with a product. This time around, you’ll have to wait. People are even begging to be invited to Google+ on Twitter.
Of course, only time will tell. I'm excited to test Google+ for myself. Expect a follow-up post when I do!
What are your predictions for Google+? Let us know in the comments below!