The very utterance of Google+ is enough to garner a collective sigh by many, however it’s recently been getting headlines for all the right reasons. Google+ is maturing into something interesting and engaging, and here’s why I believe you should be one of the 340,000,000 people using it. Spoiler: I've even convinced the Giz UK guys to start using it again.
Google+ is unlike any of the other major social networks, as its service is to distribute content between its creators and its audience, and it does so refreshingly. Google is focussed on providing people with as much useful information as they can, and through indexing services creating content, it can provide the most contextually relevant information possible. This purpose allows Google+ to be free from corporate interest in the same way as its contemporaries. It’s making money from getting data, not from people clicking adverts for viagra, which frees it to be more inventive in its approach, and results in a neat new social networking experience.
Google is attempting to create a platform which is original, giving people more ways to share and communicate. Some of their recently added features -- Communities and Events, namely -- seem to be playing catch-up with what exists elsewhere, but they’re also striving to make their own innovations. You can do a lot on Google+ that you can’t do on other platforms, like view panoramic photos, instantly upload media to events, and join live web conferences, all increasing online sociability.
Google+ has a lot of features which make it awesome for complementing your personal life. It puts all that vacuous, idiocentric dribble emanating from your friends and family alongside introspective insights from the Dalai Lama, and astronomical outpours from NASA through the most underrated feature of the entire platform: circles. For all the features Google+ has implemented since its inception, its method for adding content to your feed (perhaps the most important feature of any social network) is its crowning glory. Adding somebody to a circle isn’t the same as firing them a “friend request” on Facebook or “following” them on Twitter. Circling users allows you to segregate content, giving you control over what you want to see in your feed and when. Over this, you can choose quite specifically and very quickly who can view your content, too -- this is very different from excluding viewers, à la Facebook, as it’s offered inclusively and is an integral part of every individual share.
Ultimately, once you’ve circled some people and products that you like, you have a bespoke set of feeds which complement your passions and hobbies whilst keeping you in the loop with your pals. I, for instance, have loads of circles set up, for everything from Friends to Football, Ingress to Interesting People, to craft a feed which speaks to me about what I wanna hear.
Circles are brilliant as a tool for you, but Google+ has many more features that make it an accomplished platform for content creators.
Load up Google+ and the depth of content is immediately apparent: photos are focal and text is infinite. By having complementary integration of photos, basic markup tools, post editing and an immense character limit, writers and journalists are poised to post more profound and more thoughtful content in comparison to other social media.
Content creators also have access to everything you do, meaning they can interact with their audience creative and unique ways. Some bloggers, most notably Mike Elgan, have taken action to fully embed their blogs into the platform, using Google+ as their only content delivery service for his 2.1 million followers. A recent marketing campaign by National Geographic which depended upon features such as Hangouts On Air secured 150,000 new followers, bringing its total to 2.3 million. Google+ is beginning to gain recognition beyond its “ghost town” epithet, earning real status within social networking.
Google+ seems to be evolving into a state of maturity and people are wanting to take part in its venture. Finally, it seems to be tying together in a clean, utilitarian package, and as more users discover its many virtues, the platform is only set to improve.
Glenbot3000 is a college student anxiously awaiting offers for studying Classics and English at university. If you hadn’t noticed, he's a fan of most things Google, so you can find him on Google+ if you want to circle him.
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