With regards to social networking, Facebook remains the most popular with over hundreds of millions of users and growing daily. But it seems Google has come up with an excellent social networking site that integrates a slew of different features that even Facebook doesn't offer yet , and they're calling it Google+. Right now, joining is still by invitation only, yet many of its first users seem to be enjoying the new experience.
Getting connected within a circles of influence
The Google+ Project offers various features to help people connect with others. First, there's Circles, where you can easily separate the people you know into groups so you can share different things with them. Its basis is the fact that in the real word, we use real-life circles to share information – what we share with our friends and family for example, may not be the same thing we share with our colleagues and boss. With Google's software, it's a breeze to create these groups, so you don't have to worry about accidentally sharing information with the wrong person. It gives you a stellar opportunity to target your message to the audience within your circle.
Putting a spark into sharing similar interests
The next feature is called Sparks , which is basically an online sharing engine. You type in your interests, and Google+ immediately comes up with interesting feeds that are related to the topic you input. You also have the option of sharing it with your Circles.
The third feature is Hangouts, where you have the option of chatting with your Circles in live video. You get to see who's on among your friends, and you can easily video chat with all of them, just like you're hanging out in person.
And the last feature of Google+ is Mobile, where you can easily upload your pictures, group chat, share your location, and a lot more using your mobile phone through the platform.
So, what does Google+ Pages mean for your personal brand? It means you can target like never before with the the lingo that you're used to using much in the same format you would separate and categorize your database.
The main challenge for Google+ is how to get more users to utilize the platform. With Facebook currently the leading social networking site in the world, is there really any reason for people to make another social networking profile in Google+?
Does Google+ offer enough to lure people away from Facebook?
It's still too early to tell if Google+ will lure loyal Facebook users away. The "mute" button operates much like the "hide" button within Facebook. And, pages for business brands doesn't even launch until sometime next week. What I do admire is how steady and focused Google's release has been of this new network. Quite a different release than what they did with Google Wave and Google Buzz which shows perhaps they learned much from their previous launches.
And extra "sweet" advantage, is that Google+ alerts show up in the corner of your Gmail account so that you are connected without having to jump through many hopes to stay informed and listening! If you look at your own personal Google Dashboard, you'll be surprised at how much is available out there for you and about you.
Of course, one obvious thing that Google+ definitely has an edge over Facebook is the fact that updates and posts will have some Google SEO benefits – since they're indexed by Google, they can help you achieve better rankings in the search engines.
Right now, Google+ still has a long way to go before it can really compete with the giant that Facebook has become in social networking. With its excellent features and its integration with Google Search and it's wonderful target "circles" Google+ definitely has a lot to offer anyone who wants to start their personal brand communication there.
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