My Take on Google+ — I’ve Made Time to Hang Out

I promised myself that I wouldn’t write about Google+ because didn’t I say just a few posts ago that I don’t have time to hang out on any more social networks? I’ve changed my mind. (I’m allowed).

For starters, I want to point out, if you look to your right, that I not only did I join Google+ but you can follow me by adding me to one of your circles. This takes some explaining if you haven’t yet joined Google+ or are just getting your feet wet, as I am.

Google+ Circles

One of the big differences between Google+ and Facebook is that you can segregate your connections into separate categories. Google+ calls them circles. It’s so simple to add people to your circles. Google+ has nicely started four for you called Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Following. You can add more circles and name them what you want – college alumni, cooking class, celebrities. You get the idea.  I’ve included a screen shot of my circles shown at the left.


This is where I think Google+ has a big edge over Twitter and Facebook. If you’re on the receiving end of a friend’s stream, you will only receive updates that are relevant to your circle. You don’t need to know what his Aunt Tilly ate last night for dinner. Also, you can restrict what you say within each Circle. This allows for private conversations that you can’t have on Facebook.

Hangouts

This is another neat feature. You can start a hangout – a sort of chat room – where you can sign in Skype-like and a live video of you shows up. If your friends are also hanging out you can have a conversation.

I’ve filled out my profile, and my stream is filling with updates from people in my Follow circle who are mainly social media mavens that I also follow on Twitter. I need to start posting more content and adding people to my circles. Of course, it all takes time. But I find Google+ more user friendly than Facebook and I think it will be more useful to my business. Specializing in social media communications, I need to know about this newest network where clients and prospects may be hanging out. So I need to hang out, too.

Have you joined Google+ or do you plan to? What do you think of it? The service is still by invitation-only as they roll it out. Let me know if you would like me to send you an invitation and I will. Oh, and if you enjoyed this post, please click on the +1 to the right. It’s the equivalent of the FB like.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the wonderful, succinct review of Google+. I, too, am loathe to get started on another social network. Now before I join Google+, I’m assuming that Facebook will be adding the circles feature before too long – do you agree? Before I get started on Google+, I feel like I want to see if that happens, rather than build another network from scratch and have to monitor it.

    • Maria — glad to hear from you! I agree it’s a big decision to join yet another social network. And four blogs ago I was railing against having to join all these social networks. I do believe people are suffering social media fatigue. But social media is my beat so I felt I needed to know what the fuss was about. I’m glad I joined and I do think it’s more user friendly than Facebook which seems to change its rules and template every other day!

  2. Yvonne — Agreed. I think FB finally has legitimate competition. I’ve also found FB to be confounding with its changing the rules all the time. I still have a lot to learn about it – it will be another social media adventure!

  3. Thanks for the helpful summary. I’ve signed up and added a few people to various circles but haven’t looked much beyond that – I would rather have a crystal ball and figure out if it’s going to be important first before I spend much time there! I usually find Google stuff useful so I’m optimistic about it being as good as or better than Facebook but it’s no good if it doesn’t get the numbers. Interesting times!

    • Time will tell if Google+ will “get the numbers,” as you point out. Right now there is a lot of buzz about it and initial numbers are awesome. Of course, we’re all waiting to see what Facebook has up its sleeve in retaliation.