It may be because of the field I’m in, or it may simply be the best word-of-mouth advertising I’ve seen in awhile, but if I had dime for every time a friend, colleague or acquaintance asked me if I was on Google+, well, I wouldn’t be rich (darn inflation), but I would be walking around with a lot of change in my pockets.
Have you heard about Google+? I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t, due to the fact that Google hasn’t marketed Google+ through any of its other channels or services. But it’s important to understand this platform and its functionality. That’s why we’ve created this Google+ breakdown:
- Circles. The first thing you are likely to interact with on Google+ will be a feature called “Circles.” The Circles feature will allow you to create and manage groups such as family, friends, business contacts, etc. and organize your connections on Google+. Claiming that the Circles feature is much easier to operate and manage than other social networking platforms, Google also claims that it will increase sharing ability and be more realistic.
- Sparks. According to Google+ developers, the Sparks feature isn’t a search engine, it’s a “sharing engine.” Much like an RSS feed, after adding your interests to Sparks, you will automatically receive a feed of relevant information from across the Internet. You can also store photos and videos as well as share any content you deem necessary to your Google+ connections.
- Hangouts. Hangouts are essentially group video chat zones within your Circles. If any individual within a given Circle is in a Hangout, you’ll receive an alert and the ability to join the Hangout and video chat with everyone there. What’s cool is that the Google+ system is smart enough to focus on who is controlling the conversation at any given moment.
- Huddle. A group messaging app that works across SMS, Android and iPhone platforms, Huddle allows you to communicate with the connections in specific Circles. For example, if a group of friends within one of your Circles is planning a dinner, you can each contribute to the conversation via messaging on Google+’s Huddle feature.
Other notable features:
- Mobile. Google+ claims they’ve personalized the mobile experience by adding features like GPS, cameras and messaging.
- Location. Add your location to any post.
- Instant upload. Each time you snap a photo, Google+ will add it to a private album for easier accessibility.
- +1. Very much like the Facebook “Like” button.
- Privacy. Unlike the majority of other social networks out there, Google+’s default settings automatically opt out the user from public access.
While the new platform may be like honey for the tech-savvy bee, it could yield negative effects for those who are already overwhelmed by too much media and technology.
Much of the anticipation and hype surrounding Google+ is simply a result of the “super secret” development and slow, invitation-only launch to the public. Scarcity is a great marketing technique and has worked for them in the past with the invite-only release of Gmail.
Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips: