If you are currently not on Google Plus or not actively using it, I am here to tell you that you will be +1′ing very soon. My short answer for my reason: well, it's Google..and they are kind of a big deal on the internet. They own 23% of the internet browser market and 70% of the internet search market, and they are also a big deal in mobile, owning 48% of the smart phone market share. I know that most of you are thinking that you already "tweet", "friend", "like", "connect" and "follow" so why should you now start to Plus?
Well, the seven reasons below are just a few of why I think that we all will be using Google Plus within the next year:
1. Google Integration
Think about how often you use Google Search, Chrome, Android, Gmail, Google Maps, Docs, YouTube, Gchat, and Calendar, to name a few Google-owned products. Millions of people use these products every day and if Google Plus is integrated into all of these, which it will be soon, then it might seem unnecessary to leave Google for social networking.
2. Google Plus 'Hangout' is pretty cool!
If you haven't used the Hangout feature in Google Plus you need to give it a shot now! This feature puts G+ miles ahead of Facebook or any other Social Media site when it comes to chatting/messaging. Heck, even President Obama and Conan O'Brien hosted their own Hangouts recently. Inside this feature you can have up to 9 people chatting or video chatting at once, share YouTube videos, create art, play games, or collaborate on a Google Doc project.
3. Google Circles Makes Managing Your Friends Fun and Easy
Let's be realistic, how many of us really group every one of our friends on Facebook, or any other Social Media site for that matter? On Google Plus, grouping your friends is easy and seems very natural. In fact, you are required to put each new connection into a circle once accepting, so there is no build up or backlog of connections that need to be grouped.
4. Privacy and User Data Done Right
We have heard all about how privacy is a big concern on Social Media sites and how user data has been irresponsibly managed. Google has heard those concerns and made sure to make it clear that your personal data is safe. This has been established through the 'Data Liberation' tool in Google Plus, where in just a few clicks you can download and permanently remove all your personal data and activities from the site. Even before G+, Google has demonstrated the importance of keeping their user data safe, and how can they not when their company slogan is "Don't Be Evil"?
5. Higher Rank in Google Search
If you are a business or are trying to market yourself or your brand and are not on Google Plus you are missing out. Your Google Plus profile and business page are included in Google Search results which give you a bump up in the rankings making it easier for others to search and find you.
6. Sharing Made Easy with Sparks
When using sites like Facebook and Twitter you don't have the ability to search for content or pictures to share on the site itself. You have to open up a new tab or browser search for a link, picture, article, etc...copy the link, and then share. However, with the Sparks tools you can search within Google Plus without having to go to any external sites to find things worth sharing. Then you just need to push the Share button, and that's it!
7. Facebook + Twitter = Google Plus?
Could Google Plus be the best of both worlds by combining features of Facebook and Twitter to create an all in one Social Media juggernaut? In my opinion, they are very close. We love Twitter because we can quickly see what people are talking about, follow and connect with celebrities/icons. With Facebook, you can upload numerous pictures, personalize your profile and stay up to date and connect with the people you care about. To take on Twitter, Google Plus includes the 'Explore' tool which is similar to the the trending view on Twitter where you can see the most popular topics being discussed in real time. Additionally, Google Plus allows you to have the same ability as on Facebook to create detailed profiles whether personal or professional and to share/upload pictures, videos and other content.
How bright or bleak do you feel the future of Google Plus is? Do they have what it takes to compete with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other Social Media sites?