It seems the buzz all around the internet for the past couple of weeks has been about Google’s new social platform Google Plus or Google+. We have seen Google social things before like Buzz, which really did not catch on, but it seems many people are embracing Google+. Google+ is a social network, but what makes it different from Facebook? Well first off Google+ does not have games or 3rd party apps at this time. This means you are not getting stupid requests for apps and for people asking you to help them in Mafia Wars or something like that.
The core elements of Google+ are your friends, profile, photos, and hangouts. Lets start with friends, you can add friends by their e-mail and group them in to circles. Each circle is like a grouping, when you post something on Google+ you can either make it public so everyone can see it or you can select which circles you are going to post it to. Circles can also be used to filter your stream, you can select to only see what your friends are doing etc.
Your profile is pretty simple, it shows your posts, has an about tab, photos tab, videos tab, +1’s tab and a Buzz Tab. Unlike Facebook your friends or people who follow you cannot write on your profile. This is interesting, as the only way people can communicate with you is commenting on things you post. This may drive people to share more.
The photos section is pretty cool. The photo uploader is much better than the Facebook one and I like how the comments show up on the right side of the photo page. You are able to tag people in photos. When people tag you, you will get a tag request, which is a nice touch.
Hangouts are social video chat. You can chat with up to 10 people at once and it works great.
So where do where we go from here with Google+? Right now Google+’s user-base is mostly tech people, which is great if you are into that sort of thing. It makes it a really cool hangout, but if you are not into tech or the internet then you might have to wait for Google+ to have enough relevant content for you to enjoy. I think the big thing with Google+ is going to be engagement, just in the week that I’ve been on Google+ I’ve seen extremely long threads of replies and +1’s on posts. I think the fact that you cannot write on people’s profiles has a big part in this. I really like Google+ and if you are on it check out my profile here. Also if you need an invite send me your e-mail account and I’ll send you an invite!