Google +, Google’s own social networking version, made a surprise entry into the race of social networking sites last year. This, however, raises two questions now: (a) “What the heck is Google+?” (b) “How is Google+ still alive?”
Over the years, we have witnessed mushrooming of social networking sites, which raises a question as to whether or not Google+ will hang on in the long run. On one hand there is Facebook, which has 900 million users, and Twitter, with more than 150 million users. Google+, on the other hand, also claims to have 150 million users and is still trying hard to remain in the market.
Google’s attempt with its plus networking version seems to be on the right track because of its features which engages users.
According to Google’s Vic Gundotra said: “Google Plus is just an upgrade to Google.” Following are a few reasons why Google+ is still alive in this race.
Social Glue for Google users
Google last week introduced its new updates- including Events and new methods of live photo sharing, which would eventually engage users to spend more of their time on the site.
Richard MacManus wrote on his ReadWriteWeb blog: “One year ago, I think we all expected Google+ to turn into a better standalone product than what we’ve got now. But despite that, Google+ has turned out to be incredible useful to Google. If I was to predict what Google+ will be like in July 2013, I’d guess it will be even less about being a standalone social network and even more about supporting YouTube, Google search et al.”
There have been certain changes that are be visible on the internet. If you have Google social search turned on, you can see the updates from friends in Google+. Moreover, you can also log onto YouTube using the network.
Circles of Friends Feature
One thing that makes this site different from Facebook and Twitter is Google+ Circles. With this feature, you can have an additional option of keeping groups of friends, family, colleagues and other options.
The best part of this feature is that you can switch friends from one group to another by dragging into a new circle. In fact, you can even pull email lists from Circles.
Better Mobile App
Many tech analysts insist Google+ is far better than Facebook when it comes to mobile browsing. It actually works better as a portable hangout. However, on first use, users may not find it much amazing, but when they realise the benefits they would be spending more time on the site.
Video Chat Hangouts
Yet another feature of Google+ is called Hangouts which has been making the site more fundamentally different from Twitter and Facebook.
This free service allows users to chat in group. Moreover, you can also record the conversation and take live questions from audience, which is much more useful for news sites. In fact, US President Barack Obama hosted Hangout earlier this year.
Heather Kelly, of CNN Tech wrote: “As a social network competing with Facebook it’s a flop, but its video-chat tool ‘Hangouts’ is a winner,”
More Features In-store
With Google+ celebrating its one-year anniversary, Google has announced some new features which can be integrated with other Google products.
For instance, its Events feature, automatically coordinates with Google calendar. Additionally, it allows attendees at a party or gathering post photos from the event and host Hangouts beforehand.
“Today’s online event tools are really just Web forms that ask, “Are you going? ‘Worse yet, they bail when you need them the most during the actual event, even after everyone leaves. In life, we plan, we party and we keep in touch. Software should make all of this more awesome,” a Google+ blog post said about the feature.
Sources: techatlast.com, cnn.com