|Original Internet Design|
|Original Internet Design|
Search engine giant Google has finally announced its plans to jump on the social networking bandwagon alongside Facebook, Twitter and co., calling it ‘Google Plus’ or ‘G+’ for short.
To begin with they are calling for businesses, brands and celebrities to join up and plug not only their own services but those of the new networking tool as well. Sign up here.
Some similarities to other sites: Any social networking application will have things in common with other established names. Like Facebook before it, G+ allows users to not only broadcast their latest news and opinions but also to interact easily with fans, customers and critics. Anyone can comment on a G+ page and answering those comments is just as simple. Pictures and videos can also be shared without any hassle.
At the moment, G+ is mostly being used by businesses to connect with their more tech-savvy Internet based clients - whereas Facebook is used by everyone for everything imaginable. This is reflected in numbers: where Google Plus currently has around 40 million users, Facebook can boast an extraordinary 800 million users as of 2011.
This is a distinct advantage for G+ however, as its business-minded members can currently count on specific and targeted information without having to wade through countless game invitations and YouTube video clips first.
Despite being a relatively late addition to the social networking boom, Google Plus has some distinct advantages over its rivals:
- Many established Google services such as Gmail, Search, Chrome and Android are already extremely popular and widely-used. G+ can easily be integrated with any of these which opens up a much larger potential audience than Facebook or Twitter could even hope to attain as easily.
- “Direct Connect” is the official name given to Google’s having integrated their Plus feature directly into their infamous search engine. By entering ‘+’ in front of a search term, users now have the ability to be taken directly to the business’ G+ page. For example: enter “+Pepsi” and instead of landing on a page of results containing the word ‘Pepsi’, you will arrive straight at Pepsi’s Google Plus page.
- Unlike Twitter, G+ does not limit status updates or entries to 140 characters. Users can be as succinct or as long-winded as they want and share anything from statements to press releases.
- Google Plus uses Picasa for sharing photos and YouTube for video - both exceptionally powerful programmes in their own right. All media content can also be viewed instantly without having to navigate through other pages first (as is sometimes the case with other social networking sites).
All in all, Google Plus is looking set to become big competition for Twitter, Facebook et al.