Google+

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Chances are, you probably have a Google+ profile whether or not you use it, or knew it even. The platform was launched in June 2011 as a social feature on Google but it has become much more. The original features included things like photo sharing and status updates. Sounds like Facebook, right? Think again. The main difference between this network and its social media precursors is that it gave users the option to post to all of their followers or to selective circles. These circles are basically groups based off of interest, and different types of relationships. For instance my profile might include groups like acquaintances, work, Ouachita Baptist University, EEE PC 13, high school friends or my OBU Social Media class. People can overlap, but the basic idea was that you could choose whom you were broadcasting each particular post to. Facebook now offers some similar features, but it works in a slightly different way. The platform also included private cloud-based photo albums instant messing, video chats called “hangouts” and events.

Within the first 2 weeks of the launch, Google+ reached 10 million users. By October 2011, the platform claimed to have reached 40 million users. However, there has been some debate to whether or not this information clearly depicts the true usage of the site. One report in 2012 showed that users spent 3.3 minutes on Google+ compared to a whopping 7.5 hours these same users spent on Facebook. Ars Technica, a technology news website explained that Google+ sign ups were “often just an incidental byproduct of signing up for other Google services.”

Even though it hasn’t reached usage levels as some of its competitors, the app definitely has some cool features that you just can’t get with other platforms. The coolest thing to me about this site is that it takes something you already use daily, Google, and creates a customized experience out of it. Even though it sounds creepy, it is true… Google knows what you look at, who you talk to, and what you are most interested in. They pull information from who you’ve emailed with, messaged, or have on contacts lists then you decide what group they fall into. It’s easy to customize and helps you stay organized.

This platform is particularly valuable for businesses and should be utilized. As communications professionals, it is increasingly important for us to know the cheapest and easiest ways to get reach your audience and build trust. This platform can do just that. Probably the most valuable feature is that, because it is from Google, effective use can increase your business’ SEO value. Check out this article by Business News Daily and see for yourself just how effective Google+ can be for a small business.

 

Discussion:

  1. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
  2. Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
  3. If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
  4. Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
  5. What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?

 

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38 thoughts on “Google+”

  1. -Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    No!
    -Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I use Google books often, but my teacher in high school used it for it’s calendar, in which all her family members could post to from their accounts, so they all knew who had what going on!
    -If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    I’m more traditional and I like most things in writing on paper. I don’t think I could keep information on a computer without forgetting about it!
    -Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    I see it growing in users because a lot of people are switching over to saving documents and files online and also becoming organized through the internet.
    -What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    It stated that you shouldn’t “confuse Google+ with other social medias.” I find that interesting because I know that Facebook users confuse their account with their own personal diary, so I can only imagine what Google+ users post that they think pertains to “business”!

    Like

    1. I didn’t realize that you can make one big calendar for your family! That’s super interesting. I also definitely agree with forgetting information put on a computer. I need a calendar that is in front of me in order to feel more organized. The advice from the Business News Daily article is super interesting. I think that was a good piece of advice to point out!

      Like

    2. It’s cool that your teacher used it for the calendar! I think Google+ has a lot to offer than many people may not even know about. I have an account, but I didn’t know calendars could synch. Great point!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Kolbie, I love your comments!
      The calendar is really interesting, and I definitely agree with you about things being in writing. I feel much more comfortable having writing everything in my planner, which I take everywhere. There’s something about being able to physically mark something off that makes me feel more accomplished!

      Like

  2. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    I did not know I had a Google+ account until I looked at it after reading this post!
    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I use the Google Translate, Google Maps, and the occasional Google Docs features but that’s about it!
    If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    I just never understood how it worked, so I never tried. I would like to try and understand it more and give it a chance.
    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    It may rise in popularity but it would have to promote drastically to get people to use it on a regular basis. Most people I know do not ever talk about using it, so I assume that it does not get used by most people.
    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    “The main differentiator between Google+ and all of the other social networks is that it is the social network from Google. This means that one of the largest benefits to using Google+ is SEO value. Businesses should take advantage of this by combining their Google+ Local Page (your maps listing) and their Google+ Business Page. With this small change, a business will be more likely to rise to the top during location-based searches.” This seems like a great idea for small business because it will attach a social network with advertising. That’s brilliant.

    Like

    1. I was the same way! I had completely forgot that I had a Google+ account until I went to look and remembered that I do. I agree that it is kinda hard to understand how all the different Google apps work! That definitely stresses me out because I don’t like being confused when trying to use an app.

      Like

    2. Elise, I definitely relate to just not understanding how Google+ works. I didn’t know I had an account until I looked, either. I’m not sure if most of us are unfamiliar with it due to a lack of advertising, or if we are just not in the right market. I would love to learn how to use it, too, since I have no friends, family, or acquaintances yet.

      Like

    3. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
      I did not know, but yes I do have a Google+ account that I do not use for the social media purpose. I do utilize Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for school and business.

      Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
      I am constantly using Google Docs and Google Slides. Both of these make it easy to do group projects without having to be together to finish a project.

      If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
      I haven’t used Google+ mainly because I didn’t know about it. Now that I know there is a social media side I may use it more often.

      Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
      If used correctly, I think it could be a very useful tool for small businesses. SEO is such an important part of growing a business, so if Google+ can deliver the increase in SEO that it is offering it certainly has a lasting power.

      What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
      The advice about following other businesses is definitely valuable. I have a small jewelry business, and I am constantly following boutiques on Instagram, so they are able to see my name and product, so being able to follow them on another medium would definitely be beneficial.

      Like

  3. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    I do have a G+ account, but I barely use it except to do a poll when I’m bored.

    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I do like the Circles feature because it allowed me to sort of organize my life and choose who sees what. If I wanted to post something specifically about Star Wars, for example, I’d post it to my Circle of friends that like Star Wars.

    If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    What’s held me back from it now is mainly time and a lack of people on there. Not enough people I know are on G+, and it gets spammy after a while when all you see are a bunch of posts to different communities.

    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    G+ doesn’t have the brightest future, but it could be so much more if people used it. It has all of the unique features you don’t get with Facebook and Twitter, but it’s almost a niche service; lasting power at this point is pretty dang slim. That lasting power was also affected when Google made it mandatory to use a G+ profile to sign into Facebook and made it difficult to migrate older profiles into new ones (people were reeeeaaaalllly ticked about this).

    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    The most interesting advice I found was that small businesses should use visuals on G+. One of the platform’s merits is that it is very multifunctional, and it handles photos and videos exceptionally well (better than Facebook in my opinion). We think of G+ as the awkward network, but it has business potential. It needs to meet that with an expanded userbase, though.

    Like

    1. Good comment. Spam was one of the things I figured would be a problem on Google+. Also, Google+ definitely feels like ‘the awkward network’ to me. I think that businesses should go where the users are – Facebook, Instagram, etc.

      Like

  4. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    No, I don’t have one
    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I don’t think so
    If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    I have just always used Yahoo so I haven’t really had a need to switch
    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    Google seems t0 be taking over lots of users from other outlets, so yes I see it having a lasting impact
    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    Google has lots of business potential, especially for small businesses. If we learn how to use it and take advantage of its tools, lots of small businesses could be very successful in using Google

    Like

  5. -Yes I do. I typically use it for Google Docs and Gmail, but thats about it.
    -Yes. I use Google Docs and Gmail on a daily basis.
    -I use it, so nothing 🙂
    -I think Google+ has the potential to go far in the future. People are starting to use it more and more, and it is a great way to connect with people through documents and mail.
    -It said to ask people to leave reviews. This can be risky because reviews may not always be what you want to hear, but it is good to have feedback.

    Like

    1. Great thoughts, Emily! I think you made a good point about the features that allow people to connect through documents. I have found this to be a great way to work effectively in groups throughout my time in school.

      Like

  6. 1. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    Yes I do, but I do not use it very often.
    2. Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I only use it for Google Docs and Gmail and only when there is a school project that requires multiple people to share information.
    3. If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    Nothing because I have used it 🙂
    4. Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    I think Google+ has a lot of potential to continue to grow. Especially since I think more college students are beginning to use it more often for projects.
    5. What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    I thought that the claim authorship with rel=publisher tag advice was interesting. It’s super helpful for business owners because they are able to get their company up on the right side of the screen if someone searches for them.

    Like

    1. Great input, Julianna! You’re so right about how helpful it can be for a small business to claim authorship through this platform. I think they really have done a lot to create google plus as a more professional version of classic social media features.

      Like

    2. I think you’re right! I think many college students will continue to use Google+ for schoolwork. I could also see the usefulness of this site growing in workplaces to keep up to date on content development.

      Like

  7. I do have a Google+ account but I only use it for Documents and Email. I don’t even use the profile at all, really. I find the Google Docs the most helpful. I use it in group projects to share the work load of a document. I think Google+ definitely has lasting power, but not necessarily on the social aspect. I think it is helpful to have profiles and usernames, but I think it is most useful for the practical needs like documents and email. I totally think the article is onto something the optimize SEO value in using Google+ for small businesses. This helps people find information about a business if the topic is recognized by the SEO techniques.

    Like

  8. I have a Google+ account because YouTube required that I have one. I never use it. What has held me back was the lack of users on the site – also, none of the features really appeal to me. I do not think that Google+ will have much of a future. Unless some major reworking is done to the site, it will not be attractive to today’s audiences. I don’t really understand the website, but the article said that it was possible to send content to users – I thought this would be a spammy and annoying feature.

    Like

  9. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    -Yes.
    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    -Yes, I use it for a lot: Google doc and gmail are the main features I use.
    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    -I think it will be around for awhile and will continue to grow. It gives us a variety of options to use within our Google + account that we are able to access from any computer that we log into.
    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting? SEO techniques.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 1. I do not have a Google plus account.
    2.N/A
    3.honestly if you have a gmail account and it is you main account then you will be more likely to use the plus account. Many people are coming to google accounts because it is just more well known by many different social media accounts.

    Like

    1. I wonder how many people have found google plus and don’t have a gmail. It would seem that some of Google’s services are only profitable because of their search engine and their mail service.

      Like

  11. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    I do not
    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I only use google for email and searching. Google+ just doesn’t appeal to me
    If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    I feel like it is a Facebook clone and I don’t enjoy Facebook.
    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    I think it will decline just as Facebook has.
    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    I think using it for SEO purposes would be extremely helpful for a business.

    Like

  12. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    I don’t. I think it is a bit repetitive from other sites.
    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I’ve seen the Google hangout feature being used before and I think that is a great idea to bring a conference call to life.
    If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    I have facebook, and google. Google+ seems to just be another way to do the same thing.
    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    I really don’t see it going far. I think Google tried to put its foot into a market, but in the end they just don’t have the staying power of some other sites.

    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    I think it showed that although Google+ may be unappealing to users, small businesses can use it, and use it well.

    Like

  13. Do you have a Google+ account? How often would you say you use it?
    Apparently I do because I have a Gmail account, but I’ve never actually used the Google+ side of my account.
    Have you ever used any of its features? If so, which one did you find most useful?
    I use Gmail and search using Google, but that’s it.
    If you haven’t used Google+, what has held you back from doing so?
    It never stood out or appealed to me.
    Where do you see Google+ going in the future? Do you think it has a lasting power?
    I think it has a lasting power for businesses, but not so much socially.
    What is one piece of advice in the Business News Daily article that you found particularly valuable or interesting?
    I had never even thought of Google+ as a platform for businesses until reading this article, and its presentation of Google+ as a place for businesses to thrive was insightful.

    Like

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