As if total search engine domination wasn’t enough, Google decided to take on the social media world as well with the introduction of Google+ in 2011. While slightly similar to other popular social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Google+ attempts to differentiate itself by allowing more transparency in who users share with and how they interact through components like the +1 button, circles and hangouts.
Although Google’s social platform arrived late to the party, it quickly made up for missed time. Today, with over 500 million registered users, Google+ has become one of the most active social networks in its space. But what is Google+ and why should businesses be concerned with another social platform?
What’s all this ‘plus’ business?
Your Google+ account is based on your Google profile. Think of this as your ‘about’ page. Through this profile, you (or your business) can attempt to control the information you share with the world; such as a bio, address, phone number, email and website. You can also create ‘circles’ of contacts, for example friends, family and coworkers, with whom you can share content.
Related story: How to find the right social media solutions partner
You may have noticed a tiny +1 button on many Web pages, including this one. The “+” is the social networking feature that allows users to promote and share comments, photos, music and more with their social circles. The Google+ platform allows people to chat, share ideas, videos and news, play games, find and contact acquaintances, recommend businesses — the list goes on.
Another great Google+ feature is the ‘hangout,’ which is essentially a video chat session. To participate all you need is a webcam and microphone; these are often built into your laptop computer. Hangouts allow multiple users to simultaneously engage from any location.