Launched at the end of June 2011, Google+ is the fastest growing social network ever. The number of users has already reached 10 million, with more than 1 billion daily shares. The New York Times has declared it Google's biggest attempt to rival Facebook. Like any other social network, marketers have a lot to learn. This blog will help you understand and use this new platform.
Google+ gives you more control when sharing your content. People share different things with different people. This is great for users concerned with sharing too much information.
Google+ also integrates social services such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz. Google+ is available as a web site, and will be available as a desktop application. It is already available as a mobile application, but only on the Android and iOS operating systems.
Basic Terms: Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, and Huddles
To share information with just the right people, Google+ has created Circles. Circles make it easy to compartmentalize your contacts. Friends you hangout with, your relatives, and your work contacts can all be separated into different Circles. People in fact share selectively all the time—with their circles. This allows users to do this effortlessly.
With Hangouts, the impromptu meet-up comes to the web for the first time. You can let specific people (or entire circles) know where you are hanging out and then see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Google+ wanted to make on-screen gatherings fun, so they created Hangouts. By combining the casual meet-up with live multi-person video, Hangouts lets you stop by when you're free, and spend time with your Circles. With Google+ you can add your location to every post.
Your phone is always with you. It’s a great device that allows you to stay in-touch with your closest friends. Google+ uses your phone’s camera to upload photos and videos to a private album in the cloud. These are always available to you across your devices. Now, all you have to do is decide who to share them with. (Your mom doesn’t need to see how much fun you had Saturday night at the concert, but your best friend will be so jealous!)
Google+ has added this group messaging experience to help you gather your pals. It eliminates the need for phone calls and texting to a group of people. Now you can coordinate with everyone in real-time. When the restaurant has a 2 hour wait, everyone knows right away and you can choose somewhere else.
Sparks delivers a feed of content from across the Internet. You pick the topic and it is available in over 40 languages. Just add your interests and Sparks will send you content they think you may like. Now you’ll always have something to watch, read and share—with just the right circle of friends.
Google+ is a fun platform. As always, the main idea about privacy and the web is it’s about making sure you only share things which will never affect you if they become public.