Google +: Insider Tips on Google’s Social Networking Platform

Google + has been in operation since September 20th 2011 when it was first launched as a competing social networking platform to Facebook. It is Google’s fourth attempt to get a foothold into the social networking arena which Facebook dominates. Previous attempts have failed so it will be interesting to see if Google + really takes off or not. However, according to independent market research it is estimated that 13% of US adults have joined Google + and on average 625,000 users are joining every day,. As a result it is expected that Google will have a total of 400 million users by the end of 2012.

What is Google +?

Google + is a social networking service provided by the omnipresent Google Inc. whom we all know and love. Unlike Facebook, everything you publish on Google + is available for public viewing. So if you are somebody who likes to share your information with a select few, then this is not the social network platform for you! However, for business purposes it is an excellent tool to engage with your clients/customers.

End user experience of Google +

I felt the overall user experience to be very different to that of Facebook and I have to say I liked it. I liked the fact that I could switch between all the various Google applications seamlessly ie Youtbue, Gmail, Calendar, and then back again to Google + with just a click of the mouse. Seamless user experience comes to mind, just brilliant!

The Google+ stream and profile is similar to Facebook and I have to say I enjoyed getting acquainted with its layout. It is very different in terms of its aesthetics, but I just love the way Google + integrates with the overall Google experience! There was no requirement to log into a seperate webpage as you are required to do for Facebook.

Features of Google +

Google + has “circles” instead of Facebooks lists. There are also “sparks” and “hangouts” and of course the “stream”.

The Stream

On Google + you can use an area called the “stream” to publish content including photos and videos. This is set in the middle of three columns on the Google + page. This is where users can see updates from their respective contacts within each individual circle. The stream is an area where you can have thoughtful conversations with the people you care about. It is also the area where you see text posts, pictures, videos, and links. When you share with people either individually or through a circle, your content will appear in their stream.


These are lists of your friends/Family/Business Colleagues, i.e. similar to your twitter and Facebook lists. Circles allows you to organise people into groups. The privacy settings will allow you to hide some people in your circle if so wish. In terms of usability, there is a drag and drop facility which is different to Facebook. Within circles you can instant message your contacts with the messenger feature available on iPhone, Android and other SMS devices.


Fun notifications about specific topics which you can share or just receive information about. Each spark is a collection of content on a subject that pulls in information using Google search.


A facility which allows you to set up group video chats with anybody at any location. Ten people can participate in any single hangout at any time. A nice aspect about the hangout feature is that anyone can join the video chat if they have the URL address of the Hangout.


There is also a section for viewing, managing, and editing images and video. You can do more with your photos in Google + in comparison to what you can do in Facebook ie only tag people. In Google + users can edit their images and add photo effects. There are also edit sharing options. You can hold face to face video chats with your friends thereby enriching the whole social experience.

Google + Search

This feature allows you to search for content within Google +. You type the relevant keywords into the search box, and Google will show all relevant people and posts pertaining to that particular search. You can make your posts public so people can find them using search, or use Circles to tailor specific messages to specific followers.


This is a visualisation tool which demonstrates the sharing activity that occurs with regard to a public post. A Google + user can see the public share activity, zoom in on particular events, see those who are contributing the most, in addition to viewing statistics on these end users.


Google + has a total of 38 games which are located under a games tab (unlike Facebook). A user can receive gaming notifications in the games section which is completely separate from a users notifications.

+ 1 Button/ Google+ Business Pages

If you are currently doing online advertising, then you should set up a Google + Business page. Creating and maintaining a Google+ Business Page can give your company additional credibility with searchers. It is also advisable to link your Google + page with your website and your Google ads. This is because Google now aggregates the total of all the +1′s you have received across all platforms. By linking them, a +1 from someone who visited your website can now show up when your ad is triggered on the Google Search Network. This allows your +1 total to grow quicker whilst also giving your ads more authority.

Be Sociable, Share!

Speak Your Mind