When I heard about Google + my first reaction was, wow that’s brilliant! I immediately began to read articles and learn about it. I know I wasn’t the only person salivating when they announced a “field testing” with limited access. I had to “get in”.
Straight from Google + is a well designed page with videos and descriptions of what the new social network was all about. http://www.google.com/intl/en/+/learnmore/
Google + in a nut shell puts your connections into circles which the user easily drags people to circle shaped group icons. I categorized unknown people to a circle named follower. As I learned who people were and interaction happened, I regrouped people to more specific categories. In addition to circles, here is a small list of G+ offerings:
- Sparks; a stream of videos and articles Google thinks you will like. The learn more page link above claims, “there’s always something to watch, read and share. Grandpa would approve”.
- Hangouts; a face to face video chat where people in your circle can be invited to video chat. You let buddies (people in a circle) know you are hanging out and see who drops by for a face to face chat.
- Instant upload; a way to upload photos directly from your mobile device. “Taking and sharing photos is fun”. (quote from the learn more link).
- Huddle; it’s described as a group chat providing an example of getting six different friend to decide what movie to see. It’s a restricted group chat seemingly selected the way sharing is.
Sharing for me has been easy on Google +. It’s simple. To share I selected the share box at the top right corner and typed in a seemingly limitless narrative with photo, video, link and place capabilities. After my narrative is complete, I simply select which circles to share my content with. My shares show up in a stream similar to Facebook. I can tag people within my circles by adding a plus sign just before the first letter of their name. You can bold and strike through text too, neat.
Read about the benefits of Google places from my recent blog post
Google has redesigned it’s menu bar, its now black with links to Googles applications. My menu bar shows +Maria then Gmail, Calendar, Documents, Photos, Reader, Web and a more drop down with even more Google stuff available.
Google plus or G+ as I’ve been typing is still in field testing as of July 7, 2011. It’s not open to brands or business pages, yet. I’ve read unconfirmed reports that brand and business profile capability will be unleashed at the end of July 2011.
If you are reading this and got into the field testing phase of G+, here is my G+ profile so we can circulate together. http://www.plus.google.com/Maria Snyder I’m claiming the phrase “circulate together” I invented it, so join me and let’s “circulate”
To learn more beyond what my impression is, check out this great article by Social Media Examiner. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-get-started-with-google-plus-your-complete-guide/