What's the fuss with Google+

You may have recently heard that online search giant Google has announced the launch of its new social networking website, Google+

CG’s web developer, Rob McCann, was lucky enough to get his hands on an invite and has shared with us his thoughts on the new site.

Rob says: “Google+ is Google's attempt to enter the social networking platform, in a bid to compete with Facebook and its 500 million users.  

“The site allows individuals to share photos, messages and comments, it takes the best parts of Facebook and Twitter but adds tightened security and includes its own spin.” 

Google+ is based on four key functions - Circles, Sparks, Hangouts and Huddles. 

Circles - Similar to Facebook’s lists feature, but provides a simple interface to encourage users to sort their friends, colleagues and acquaintances into groups. This allows users to share different forms of content within the circles created, which increases the quality of the posts people receive and helps to separate what's suitable for different audiences.

Sparks - A feature that shows interesting articles on subjects that users choose. Members can then choose to share those articles to others within their circles who share a common interest. 

Hangouts - For spontaneous, live group video chats. It’s similar to Facebook's recent pairing with Skype, however Google+ allows for multi-user video conferencing that permits friends to drop in and out of conversations, rather than Facebook’s 1:1 video chat. The function automatically focusses the main screen on the person talking or the person that is currently showing video via YouTube.

Huddles - Part of the Google+ mobile application. It’s group instant messaging where, at the touch of a few buttons, you can start a conversation. 

Rob adds: “Overall, the Google+ interface is in line with Google’s recent redesign rollout. It's very slick and easy to use. The site has got potential, if Google listens to the feedback from users, namely keeping the timelines free of clutter. 

“The site ties in nicely with mobile and it has a much cleaner interface over the likes of Facebook.

“The reason audiences switched from MySpace to Facebook was down to Facebook usability. Nowadays, Facebook’s interface has become messy and cluttered, for this reason people will start to use Google+

“When the site was first rolled out the downside was that there weren’t enough users, mostly because the demand overwhelmed the servers. Although Google seems to have sorted this and more and more people are joining.” 

In only a couple of weeks Google+ has had over 18,000,000 users sign up.

Currently Google+ doesn’t serve specific business pages. However, according to a story on VentureBeat, business profiles will be included to the platform around the third quarter of this year. Google hasn’t revealed many details about what the business pages will include but users have been informed they should expect "a level of analytics and measurement that you'd typically find in Google products," hinting at the inclusion of analytics in business accounts. Here at CG we've signed up to be notified as soon as Google launches this part of the site.

CG’s studio team currently designs and builds custom landing pages for Facebook and provide bespoke RSS feeds that can be used on Sparks and in time we will provide management for Google+ Business pages if this feature is made available.

If you'd like CG to help you with your social media business pages contact Ed at Carswell Gould on 02380 238001.