Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Why you need Google+




It's been two years since search giant Google debuted their social networking concept called Google+. Many thought it was going to be like Google Buzz or like Orkut, both of which went silently (well, in the case of Orkut) into the night. And recently, Google has been killing off programs left and right - July saw the end to fan favorite Reader and coming in August, you can kiss Latitude goodbye - so with Google killing its own products, why would anyone consider using this so called network of theirs?
Powered by Google
First and foremost, G+ (as we users call it) is powered by Google. The search engine that knows everything, Google. And they've been doing a lot of things to make sure that their Googlesphere is connected on every level - all newer Android phones now come with the G+ and Hangout apps installed; Hangouts (which replaced Talk) is integrated into Gmail; YouTube videos can now be linked within G+ posts; Blogger now integrates with G+, etc.
Basically, if you use any type of Google program, it's pretty much tied in to the social network. You might think that's a bit much, but consider what people do while on social platforms. We share images, videos, links, etc. The big thing for using G+ is the ability it has on using Google as a search engine; if there is a G+ post about your search topic, you'll find it on the first page in most cases.
It's Engaging
How many engaging conversations have you had on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? There may have been a few, but did Twitter cap your character count? Can you only discuss things within groups on LinkedIn or only your friends on Facebook?
The awesome thing about Google is that you can talk to a wide variety of people, without being stopped by character counts or not being able to talk to a friend of a friend of a friend (or complete stranger). For instance, say you're looking for a free YouTube to MP3 converter for a song you just love, but can't find on an album, even the soundtrack. What might start as a conversation on where to find such a device could lead into discussing YouTube as a whole, with you sharing said YT video to those you're talking to.
Yes, It's Geeky/Nerdy
One of the problems folks have cited about not joining G+ is that it's only geared towards the tech crowd. While there are several big names that work within the technology industry using G+ (obviously most of the Google team), there are others using it as well - like celebrities, journalists, businesses, etc. And because there's a deeper sense of engagement between parties, you can expect a lot of conversation.
Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek infamy, makes routine posts about his travels, his family, and his love of home brews (he even has a home brew circle for similar people), while The Muppets have held Hangouts between each other and their fans.
Bottom Line
If you're a heavy Google user, G+ should be in your rotation of products. A big complaint from people was that it wasn't Facebook or that none of their friends were on it; how many of your friends also own Android devices? Or have Gmail accounts? How many of your adult friends are also childhood friends?
New things can be scary, yes, but they can also be fun. Besides, G+ lets you turn off any game notifications from their game area; can you say the same about Facebook?