Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's All The Fuss About Google+ ?

When I signed up for a Google+ account last week, I didn't realize that I was one of three million people who sign up daily to experience the Internet giant's new social network. Google+ is the latest social media platform for not only staying more connected, but providing users more control of their content and sharing options. It includes a suite of comprehensive social tools to facilitate sharing and organizing the different types of people you share information with. The tools are called Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and Huddle.

Google+ Circles
One of the ongoing dilemmas for people on Facebook is the angst of having posts seen by others that are not family or close friends. With Circles, you can share those Saturday night experiences with the right people, and generate those "thought leadership" posts for your business type circle of friends. When Google+ launched, Facebook made some immediate adjustments to its lists features, but Google Circles touts a more user friendly option.

Google+ Hangouts
Hangouts is one of the most compelling features of Google+ because it enables you to "hangout" in a video chat room with up to 10 of your Circles members. The exciting thing is that they've made it very easy to use and this can encourage even older family members to engage and with just a few clicks create virtual family reunions.Younger users need not spend endless time texting when they can let their buddies know that they are hanging out and invite them to "drop by" and chat with them "face-to-face". Google calls it the next best thing to the teleportation of Star Trek.

Google+ Sparks
With data overload, many of us have to sift through 100s of emails, RSS feeds on a daily basis. Google+ Sparks positions itself as your personal digital assistant by sifting through all of your incoming article and video feeds to deliver only the information you've indicated you're interested in reading, watching or sharing.

Google+ Huddle
Your fingers can get weary if you're texting back and forth with six people trying to keep everyone up to date on a restaurant or movie choice. Huddle is the Google+ answer to keeping everyone in the loop via text using Huddle groups where all the conversations appear in one chat on one page. And you can access this feature directly from an Android or iPhone.

Google+ is just another example of how Google delivers innovation, that not only addresses what consumers want, but also creates platforms that are easy, simple to use. As they say, this is just the beginning of Google's impact on social. More to come on how Google plans to have social interactions impact searches with its Google+1.

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