Google+ is Google’s new social media site that has set records as the fastest growing social media network in history. It has amassed 25 million users since it launched, and it still hasn’t “gone public,” meaning you need an invitation to join.
It’s not just another Facebook — there are some real differences:
- With Google Circles, you organize groups of friends according to tags: friends, family, business associates, etc. From your Circles page, you can drag and drop your contacts into each of the groups and then share only what you want with each group. This is somewhat like LinkedIn groups, allowing you to only share content within a select group of people.
- Sparks helps you find content based on your own interests. It’s like Google Reader, only it brings content to you automatically based on your interests. Each topic you select gets its own “Spark” page and provides links to related articles, videos, photos, etc.
- Hangouts let you video chat with up to 20 of your buddies in virtual rooms at once! (Very cool!) You can hold meetings with customers and prospects online rather than scheduling meetings or flying around the country! Can you imagine the time and money saved? This feature alone is worth getting an account on Google+.
- Huddles is a new group messaging app for people within your Circles. There’s also an Android app that lets you send messages from your phone. Select your group, and everyone can chat with each other.
- You can track your Google+ traffic with Google Analytics by using the Google link shortener rather than bit.ly or the other shorteners. Copy your links (from your Web site or other sources) and paste them into the shortener, then open Google Analytics and look at your traffic referral sources, and you’ll see how much traffic is being referred from your Google+ account.
- There are other special features for Android phones, which are Google-based.
There are some similarities to Facebook as well — the stream is much like the Facebook stream. You can post a status update, share a link, a photo or a video. The difference is that you can decide if you want everyone or just one of your circles to see it. You can also share longer content, such as blog posts, podcasts, e-newsletters and e-books. Virtually any content you create can be shared!
Another similarity to Facebook is that you want to be careful about managing your privacy settings. While Google says its site is more private than Facebook, don’t take anything for granted. Obey the first rule of thumb, which is don’t share anything online that you wouldn’t want published on the front page of the New York Times, and second, set your privacy settings. To do that, click on your name to activate the drop-down menu. There you can choose “privacy.” Scroll to the “sharing” section, where you can change your settings.
If you haven’t checked out Google+ but would like to give it a try, send me email at info @ thebuzzfactoree.com and I’ll send you an invitation.
- Google’s +1 Button Gets Its Treat: Now Lets You Share To Google+ Circles (techcrunch.com)
- Facebook Copies Google+ Sharing, And It Doesn’t Matter (thecustomercollective.com)
- Facebook Caves, Simplifies Privacy Settings (abcnews.go.com)
- Facebook privacy settings get more like Google+ (cnn.com)
- Facebook’s New Privacy Settings: A Google+ Rip-off? (shoutmeloud.com)
- You can now share content into Google+ circles with the +1 button (thenextweb.com)