When Google+ opened for beta testers last Friday, I was privileged to start kicking the tires.
I was immediately sucked into playing on a new playground. “Ooo, what does this do?” “Ooo, shiney!” I was supposed to be leaving for a mini-vacation, but had a hard time tearing myself away. So, what’s a techno, self-proclaimed geek to do? I took time and dug into Google+.
I found it easy to navigate, easy to add people to my circles. The circle part of Google+ is what makes this platform so addicting. I’ve hated creating filters and lists in Facebook, they are a pain in the butt. With circles, sharing information is so simple! Family photos? They get shared with my family circle. Article about social networking? Social Media Club circle.
The difficulty of sharing is that none of my family or close friends is on Google+ yet. So far, connections in my circles are work and networking colleagues. But, that will change as the platform opens up.
With the world of circles in Google+ there is a lot of talk about how to handle them. Want to hide your circles (so others won’t see how they are classified)? Learn how here.
The UI of Google+ is so clean! Facebook has become so cluttered with ads and nonsense, that it’s overwhelming to spend time there.
There has been a lot of talk about Google+ gunning for Facebook. Jeremiah Owyang says: “Wikipedia reports Gmail has 193mm users, so even if Google plus integration starts, they’re still behind Facebooks 600m+. FB has already made nods towards improving their communication inbox features, it’s a feature war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gmail” What about features for a business page? Here are a few tips.
Another easy to use feature is the notification box on the upper right hand screen. If it’s red, I have notifications. By clicking on the box I easily find out if someone else posted a comment, added me to a circle or more. I quickly learned to switch off email notifications after commenting on one of Robert Scobble’s post. At last count Robert had over 3,100 people in his circles and over 17,000 people had added him to their circles. Potentially, that’s a lot of email notification of other comments!
Using the native app on my Android phone is a dream! It’s truly a fantastic partner for the desktop platform. If you have an Android and haven’t had a chance to check out the app, here’s some great tips!
Some have said that Google+ is more than a new platform, it’s the glue that ties together Google communication products. I definitely think this is true, we’ll just have to wait and see how the masses adapt. Will Google+ take over the world as Facebook has? Not sure.
Want more info about Google+? Here’s a cheat sheet from the Business Insider. The Insider promises to be posting a weekly cheat sheet, so check their site for more info.