A new addition to the Social Media world - Google+
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A new addition to the Social Media world - Google+

Posted on 13 July 2011
A new addition to the Social Media world - Google+

So, here I was, quietly working away when all of a sudden there was pandemonium over in the programmers’ area.

“Share it with me!”

“Give me a look!”

“Where’s my invite?”

It’s rare to hear such a commotion in the office (unless a Foosball tournament is underway) so I went to investigate. Sure enough, someone had found their way onto Google+ and (given that we all love being at the forefront of Internet technologies) we were all clamoring around his computer demanding invites to the newest Social Networking site to be launched.

So, now that I have my very own Google+ account courtesy of Steve, I’m going to take the time to tell you a bit about it and the influence it might have over your Social Media endeavors.

What is Google+

Google+ is a Social Networking Service that is built and operated by Google. It was released on the 28th of June, 2011 in a “testing phase” but has already gained widespread popularity and more and more accounts are being issued.

What is it like?

In my opinion, Google+ is what I’d expect if Facebook and Twitter fell in love and had a child that was smarter and more mature than the sum of its parents. Rather than the mutual “friending” that occurs on Facebook, in Google+ you add users to your “circles.” Those users then receive a feed of your posts and updates - which is the direct reverse of Twitter - and can opt to add you to their circles.

Like Facebook, you can chat with your contacts, comment on their posts and add as much or as little to your profile page as you’d like. There are security settings for the bashful and the boastful, and you can filter who receives the content you generate every time you elect to share something.

So, in that sense, it’s pretty much like Facebook.

What’s not like Facebook is the “Hangout” concept where you basically create a chat room, invite your friends, switch on your webcam and treat the hangout as if you are, well, hanging out. While you’re in the hangout you can watch YouTube videos together, take part in group text chats and use your webcams to chatter away while you surf the net.

Another neat feature is “Sparks” which allows you to follow your interests on the Internet. Very simply you search for your interest, say “woodworking”, and Sparks will feed you stories about woodworking from all over the Internet. You can share any of the content from Sparks with your circles too to ignite (pardon the pun) some interesting conversations.

What does it mean for your Social Media Marketing?

At present, Google+ is ideal for the individual but not for companies wishing to add the social networking site to their marketing endeavors. However, this won’t always be the case. Google is aware of the positive impacts social media has had on business and are working towards allowing businesses to build profiles and let Google+ users to interact with their brands and products.

If you’d like to register for a Google+ account, go to https://plus.google.com.