Google Plus has more than 90 million registered users now. The social network’s rapid growth clearly suggests it’s here to stay for a long time. According to Stacey Cavanagh (Digital Marketing Manager at Tecmark), Google might boast around 250 million registered users by the end of 2012.
And we’ve every reason to believe that prediction, haven’t we?
Google+ (or Google Plus) is growing at a tremendous rate. It’s launching new features every now and then. Recently, the social network rolled out its new design to further attract the attention of people.
Among all the features of this social network, I think Google+ ‘Circles’ is the biggest scorer. For those who are not still aware of this feature, ‘Circles’ allows users to segregate people in different groups based on interests, industries, areas of expertise, relationships etc. Google+ circles have the potential to create a win-win situation for people (or professionals) of just any background.
Here’re five good reasons to use ‘Circles’ for different benefits –
#1. Organize People
The most fundamental (as well as the biggest) benefit of using Google+ ‘Circles’ is that it allows you to categorize people into different groups. For example, you can create circles named ‘Tech’, ‘Blogger’, ‘Celebrity’, ‘Author’, ‘SEO’, ‘Google’, ‘Photographer’ etc. These are just a few examples. You can create multiple circles based on people’s interests, industries, businesses etc.
#2. Read Circle-Specific Posts
Once the segregation is done, you can check out only those circles of people whose posts you want to read. If you want tech industry news, you can simply click the ‘Tech’ circle. If you want to know what’s happening in the world of SEO, you can click the ‘SEO’ circle. It saves time.
#3. Share Content with the Right People
This is a major plus point with Google+. Not everyone in your network is interested in what you share. There are different target audiences for different types of content. Google+ makes the sharing of relevant content with the right people quite easier. If you want to share something that you think is suitable for a specific circle (group of people), you can leave other Circles out.
#4. Share Circles with Others
What’s more, you can also share your own Google Plus circles with others (friends, family, colleagues, business partners etc). The best part about sharing a circle is that the name of that Circle is not disclosed. That means, you only share the list of people.
To share a circle with others, you can follow these steps –
Click the circle that you want to share
Click the ‘share’ link inside the circle
Choose people you want to share a particular circle with
#5. Enjoy Complete Privacy
Better privacy is what sets Google+ apart from other social networks. Many people call these circles as a new version of Google Groups, which is not true exactly. A Google+ circle is quite different from a group. Nobody knows who else you’ve put in a circle. The names of your circles are private to you. As mentioned above, you don’t reveal the name of a circle even when you share it with others. A Google Plus circle, therefore, is like a real life ‘private circle’.
How are you using Google+ circles? Or are you yet to begin? Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions.
In just shy of a month, Google Plus had created a community 25 Million strong. In all of the hysteria of selective invites and profile creation, Google had created one of the fastest growing website in the illustrious albeit short history of the internet. There were those who saw the meteoric rise as a sign that the writing was on the wall for Facebook and its flimsy definition of privacy.
However, that hasn’t exactly been the reality. The reason for the initial buzz falling flat should be all too familiar to Google. Last time, however, they were the beneficiary of the phenomenon. The easy recent comparison would be Microsoft launching Bing with ad budget in the millions. Google was able to stand pat and watch the well-funded upstart try to chip away at the empire that it had amassed. Not that the reminder is needed but Google remains king of the search.
With all that being said, there is great functionality to Google Plus, features that have yet to be widely discovered by the general public and could give Plus staying power.
- Focused Sharing: Plus allows the sharing of content to select circles, you could say social media via scalpel. You can share works articles with your colleagues or post your weekend plans with friends, you have the tools to choose the intimacy of your networking. This comes in handy when you don’t want coworkers or parents to see your updates. Intimacy is vital to Plus and could very well be the differentiator between Facebook and Plus in the long run.
- Authentic Social Experience: Facebook has become a true place of business, with pages and likes becoming a focus of most modern marketing strategies. If businesses begin to lessen the social experience, there is a chance that more and more users could seek out a new network the way that they left MySpace en masse.
- Google Integration: One advantage that Google has over Facebook is that there are numerous reasons that the internet population is already using some Google functionality. Gmail, for example, has built a base over the course of seven years. Switching between Gmail, Google Docs and Google searches will create a more seamless internet experience.
If Plus can foster the feeling of genuine connection that is being seemingly drained from Facebook, it stands a great chance of rivaling the current king of social networking and not becoming victim to the crash after a sugar rush.
Caution: The opinions in the following blog post represent my own as a guest blogger—not necessarily Search Engine Marketing Group’s or Gerald Weber’s. Just sayin’…
Okay, I’ve got to get something off my chest here. It’s been building and building and if I don’t scream it from the mountain tops, my chest is going to explode. So here it is. Are you ready.
GO TO HELL, GOOGLE PLUS!
Wow. There. I said it. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who cares. Big deal, so you hate it. You’re a Facebook groupie. Or a Twitter Tweeter. Or whatever. Big deal, join the club.”
Ah, but see, it’s different for me. Why? Because I’m busy trying to pull my foot out of my mouth. Not sure what I’m talking about? Checkout this post I made on my blog a few months back, in which I said that Google Plus was basically going to murder Facebook.
Here’s the deal. I wanted Google Plus to be our savior. You know, the one to topple the world system (i.e. Facebook) and bring revolution to the social media world. I prayed that it was true. I hoped with everything within me. In fact, I wanted it to be the case so badly that I wrote a post daring people to argue otherwise with me.
But here I am, a few months later, barely even blinking when I see my Google Plus notifications box pop up. Why? Here’s what I’ve narrowed it down to:
- My friends aren’t into it. Well, a couple of them maybe. But most of the updates I’m reading are from people I barely know. And quite frankly, I could care less what most of them have to say.
- People keep adding me and I have no clue who they are. Not sure what the deal is, but I sear the last million people to put me in their circles—I don’t know them. No clue at all. And let’s face it, I don’t really feel like getting to know them.
- I’m in too deep with the other social networks. My worst fear. I’m too tied into Facebook and Twitter to quit. I’m an addict. Sad, yet so true.
Now, am I saying Google Plus won’t beat them out in the end? Not necessarily. When you compare Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus you can definitely put together a solid argument in Google Pluses favor. But as for now, as for me…sorry Google Plus. I just don’t have the time or the patience.