At the end of last month, Google revealed their Google+ Project. Although Google’s social media endeavor was initially lacking in users (it was only accessible to those with exclusive invites), there is no shortage of buzz about the fastest-growing social network in history. It is said to rival Facebook, though, ironically, the most followed user on Google+ is Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. The following are reasons why this product may just be the next big thing in social media.
1. It’s fun to use
The product is fun to use, and the design is aesthetically pleasing. In the Circles function, users drag their friends’ names and pictures into circles that are labeled according to different social groups. Friends can be added one at a time or in a group. You can try it yourself with the Google+ interactive tour. The color scheme follows the blue, green, red, and yellow pattern of Google. The layout is clean and pretty similar to Facebook, but with more colors that pop.
2. They’ve built anticipation
Google has taken advantage of the “you always want what you can’t have” theory. Google+ is in what the company calls a “limited field trial.” Current Google+ users were invited to try the service by Google. Initially, the company let the first wave of users invite their friends to try the product, but the flood of registration requests forced them to shut down the invite mechanism and deny access to hopeful new users with invitations. Since then, current users were given back the invite functionality. Twitter users have been tweeting out requests for invites, thoughts on the product so far, and speculation for its use and development for the future. Facebook also made a recent announcement regarding three major changes to their chat interface: one-on-one video calling, personalized chat contact lists, and group chats. This announcement was immediately followed with comparisons to similar products used in Google+, Huddles and Hangouts.
3. Huddles & Hangouts offer group socialization
The previously mentioned Huddles and Hangouts are big reasons why Google+ differs from other social media platforms. To demonstrate the usefulness of Huddle, Google uses the example of trying to make plans with a group of friends, going back and forth from person to person. This mobile component is an all-inclusive version of the iPhone group texting feature. Hangouts have also garnered a lot of attention. Ford earned kudos for being one of the first brands to use the service, and the company hosted a Hangout to interact with their customers.
4. It’s hard to ignore
You may have noticed a black bar at the top of Google’s pages. This will be implemented into Google+ once it is open to the general public. The +1 button has also been showing up on various websites. Even when people aren’t on Google or Google+, reminders of the site are hard to miss.
5. It allows you to control content sharing
Circles allow you to control who sees the content that you post. Your general Facebook audience may not care about the latest news in advertising, but people in an “Ad Friends” Circle probably will.
Do you plan on using Google+?