Google Plus

Just over two weeks ago, Google introduced a new social media platform, Google Plus.  After playing with it for a few days, I posted the following question on Facebook:

With fb, twitter, linkedin, 4sq, and now google+, what’s the breaking point? When do you have too many profiles to manage?

I never really got into 4sq – i don’t care about badges – and I rarely put status updates on LinkedIn, but I was beginning to feel overwhelmed using three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Google+).  When I’m pushing out info, which social network do I use?  When is it all too much?

After a week or so of playing with Google Plus, I’ve decided its almost what you would expect if Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter had a baby.  And I like it, and I think its going to become my primary social network platform of choice.  Here is my reasoning.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t use Facebook for the type of social networking that it has become.  For me, Facebook is about the past.  Its about connecting with people I actually know (mostly from middle school, high school and college).  I don’t “like” brands, and I don’t use to to follow trends in any way, shape or form.  It’s solely about staying in touch with people and catching up with people I haven’t talked to in a while.  Proof point that I think of Facebook as a way of connecting with my past: my profile looks basically identical to the way it did when I graduated college.  The photos have changed, but the content under the info tab is college Anna.

I’ve never used Twitter to push out meaningful content. It’s been about collecting information.   Collecting news and trends on a broad spectrum.  My Twitter feed is an “inch deep and a mile wide” – a few users for each topic, with a thousand topics represented.  I rarely click links; if you can’t give me the important info in 140 characters, I move on.

But here is how I see myself using Google Plus to far:

  • Professional and Personal: Allowing me to easily create circles, I can categorize things easily.  I’ve created circles for friends, deltas, journalists, media gurus, techies, ect.  That way I can separate and  view based on my mood.  I know Twitter has “lists” but I find Google circles more intuitive and easier to create.
  • Content: Facebook is personal content, Twitter is misc brain dump info, but the content on Google Plus has been much more interesting.  Perhaps its the type of people I follow via Google Plus (strong possibility) and the fact that its all early adopters that are the type to share more meaningful info.  But  so far its becoming a place to share useful and interesting information, opposed to the fact that you just had awesome pizza for dinner.  (For example, I’m watching the Women’s World Cup final and the U.S. just scored in overtime.  The excitement is something for Facebook or Twitter, not Google Plus).
  • Multipurpose: While part of me doesn’t want to “junk” up my Google Plus feed with misc info (see point above), I could if I wanted me.  The way you can view and share info through personalized circles lets me send out information only to my friends, or my family, or only people I follow professionally.  When I come across something interesting PR related, I can share it with my co-workers and other media-junkies, and my friends and family who wouldn’t care don’t have to worry about it junking up their feed.  When I want to provide an update about hitting a new running milestone, I can share that with my friends and other I know personally.  Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which pushes content to everyone, I can tailor and categorize my content appropriately.
Of course, this could all change.  The purpose of Google Plus is to be social.  If none of my friends and family move to Google Plus, then I can’t use it to push personal content to them.  If other people are connecting with me via other platforms, then I will connect back through those platforms.  But I see huge potential with Google Plus.  Only time will tell with this new platform.
If you’re not already doing so, start following me on Google Plus.  

One thought on “Google Plus

  1. I think your last point about the purpose is to be social is the crux. If a few early adopters say “OMG I LOVE IT” but nobody else follows suit, it kinda doesn’t matter. So far I like the interface, am intrigued by the circles but am waiting on the network.

    Slight tangent but I am disappointed in Google for not having a biz pages plan sooner. What made them think they could get away with not having it immediately?

    Second tangent: just a anecdote, but I’ve heard that once you start being semi-active in G+, the Google advertising to you becomes eerily accurate. Their content base about you is that much more expanded and suddenly your search results and ads are freakishly tailored. Even as a marketing person who understands the why and how, I’m sorta weirded out by that. (Hell, I freaked out when after I got married Facebook started giving me fertility treatment and sippy cup ads. I can’t imagine if my whole web experience [since between search, G+, email etc Google really is nearly the whole thing] became that tailored. Further tangent: Dear Facebook, I am not pregnant nor am I trying to be. Fertility treatments and sippy cups are lost on me.)

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