Is Google+ Worth the Fuss?

16 Aug

“As the Google+ invasion continues, Facebook is feeling the heat. Although Facebook still has more than 700 million users, some estimates say that Google’s social network is on track to top 20 million users by this weekend. That’s more than 1 million new users a day since the service launched”

by PCWorld Editors, PCWorld   Jul 14, 2011 1:00 pm

When my good friend Hilary invited me to join Google+ a few months ago I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. I did a little research and learned that the social media platform seemed to meld a lot of the components of other sites such as Twitter and FB, but with a few added bonuses, and a few downfalls. Read on to learn what I really like about the site, along with a few points of frustration.

The +’s (Pun Intended)

  • I can remain within Google as a holistic one-stop shop : note the way “McKenzie+” is accessibly added to my typical toolbar (codenamed the Sandbar at Google during creation), along with a Notifications alert and Share button in the upper right hand that offers me the option of sharing from any Google site)
  • All of the photos taken by my phone (Android) are automatically uploaded to my G+ for review and possible posting
  • I can post images, videos, links, and text without having my message temporarily disappear (like in FB)
  • All of my connections are easily shuffled into Circles that allow me to send targeted messages to as few as one or two individuals, all of my clients, only my friends and family, etc—my network as an easily-navigable  Venn Diagram? Awesome (and much more convenient than the Groups option on Facebook)
  • I can maintain a dialogue or exchange with a contact in private without bogging down my email or entering the sometimes life-draining world of FB.
  • I can easily send a mass message through the Huddle G+ application on my phone, a group messaging app that works across Android, iPhone, and SMS to allow you to communicate with the people in certain Circles..
  • I can +1 (G+’s version of “like”) anything I run across online without the hassle of having to copy links, images, or “sharing”
  • I can Hangout (aka G+’s version of Skype) with my contacts without leaving Google.

The Minuses

  • As a friend recently posited online, “Does anyone else find it slightly depressing that you have 500+ friends on Facebook, but only 15 on g+?!” I can’t help but feel like the platform is more introverted, probably because there aren’t that many people partaking, or being active with their profiles yet
  • The variety of options is more limited (although I’m not ready to suggest that this is a good or a bad thing): G+ has no Events, no Notes, no Pokes, etc, and the profile template is much less lengthy than FB.
  • It’s exclusive – not everyone has been invited to join yet—the company is rolling out invitations to avoid major glitches and possible privacy issues(If you’re interested in joining Google+ Contact Me today and I’ll be happy to send you an invitation)
  • The site’s not as accessible to people who don’t have gmail.

The introduction of G+ has very necessarily stirred the Facebook pot, but will site continue to grow? If so, will the two sites be able to coexist? Below is a persuasive suggestion made by PCWorld:

“…Facebook should put differences aside and allow Google+ users to import their friends from Facebook to Google+. Facebook should deal with Google+ the same way it dealt with Twitter: Permit Google+ users to link their updates to Facebook and, in exchange, Facebook opens up its content to Google+.”

Users (or decided non-users) of FB and G+, what do you think?

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