Google+ – what is it?

google+circles

Have you come across Google+ yet? It´s Google´s social networking platform. Essentially, it´s a combination of the best bits of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It´s also got some interesting unique features. It´s still small – 90 million users compared to Facebook´s 845 million – but don´t be fooled by that. Those in the know say it´s Facebook´s most dangerous competitor.

Let´s take a tour…

Circles

This is the biggest difference between Google+ and sites like Facebook and Twitter. Whereas on Facebook or Twitter you have to share everything with everyone, on Google+, you don´t. Instead, you group your contacts into “circles” – friends, colleagues, contacts, relations, whatever you want. Posting photos of your weekend away? Just post it to your friends. Posting photos of your new niece? Just post it to your relatives. Posting a link to an industry article? Just post it to your work colleagues. For me, this ability to filter is Google+´s biggest, well, plus.

Stream

This is what you see when you log in. It´s like the news feed on Facebook, except you can choose to see a complete stream or you can filter it according to your circles.

Share

Got something to share? You post it just like you would on Facebook or Twitter. There are two differences. You choose which circle(s) you want to share it with. And there´s no 140 character limit like there is on Twitter.

Business page

Just like in Facebook or Twitter, as well as having a personal page, you can also have a business page. Other Google+ users can choose to “Share” your page or “+1″ it (Google+´s equivalent to Facebook´s “Like” button). There is some evidence that having your Google+ page shared and +1´d positively affects your search engine ranking, which makes having a good and active business page well worth considering.

Hangouts

This is another of Google+´s version of Skype. You can use your webcam to “hangout” with members of your circle. Or have a business meeting, team catch-up etc…

In summary, Google+ has got some interesting features that make it useful for you as an individual. It´s also got some features that make it useful for your business. Happy exploring!

Want to find out more? You might find the slides from our Is Google+ a Facebook killer? workshop interesting.


Catherine Every at EveryWord
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