In case you haven’t heard, Google has recently launched Google+, their social networking site that is trying to succeed where previous efforts have failed.
You remember…Google Buzz and Google Wave?
Yyyyyeah, they didn’t work out so well for Google. Truth is, Facebook has really become to social networks what Google is to search engines, which is a hard thing for even Google to compete with. To you and most business people trying to make the best use of their web development and web design efforts, the main question is what features does Google+ have that Facebook doesn’t?
More importantly, do those features really matter to you and your business enough for you to add yet another social media forum to your network?
Here are some of the new features that are getting some buzz:
Hangouts: Probably the biggest element Google+ has that Facebook doesn’t is a feature called “Hangouts” that gives users a way to join group video chats. It’s basically a chat room with video. Any user can create a Hangout and others can then join. As well as video chatting, users can also watch YouTube videos as a group.
Sparks: Sparks is the Google+ newsfeed, and it’s different from the Facebook news feed in that it’s focused on specific topics and on news: you won’t find information on where your friend was today or what they had for dinner, but you will find highlights from blogs, newspapers, and other media outlets sorted by topic.
What Strangers Are Saying: Whereas on Facebook the only posts and status updates that appear in your news feed come from people you’re friends with, Google+ lets you see posts and updates from people you aren’t yet following, but who are following you. You can follow them if you choose by putting them into one of your “circles”.
Chat with Strangers: Facebook Chat requires you to be friends with someone before you can chat with them. Google Hangouts, for better or for worse, are much more open: up to ten people can join a Hangout video chat, and they need not be in each others’ Circles to do so. Maybe nothing negative will come of this, but you’ve got to admit Google is taking a risk with a really loaded Pandora’s Box here.
So what’s the bottom line?
Bottom line is that yes…there is another social media forum to be considered for your Internet marketing and web development/web design efforts. Is it absolutely necessary? Functionally speaking, probably not, but the initial word is that you will do well to have a presence on Google Plus and the Google+ box (the equivalent of the Facebook “like” box) on your website will help you greatly in the search engines.