Five Reasons Why You Should Consider Google+
Editors Note –
This is a guest post by the brilliant John Chvatal. We were delighted to have him write this because, although I have a page on this platform and create them for our clients on request, it is not currently at the center of our social media strategies.
Enjoy the article, and we’ll ask John to respond to any questions you have.
So you may have seen articles from the likes of Forbes and Mashable proclaiming Google+ is dead. Yeah…. those articles are over a year old, but yet Google+ is somehow still alive. How could this be?
History of Google+
Before I get to what this platform has become today, I think a brief overview is in order. Google+ was launched in June of 2011. Google envisioned the platform as being the glue that holds its services together. It became the social layer for products like Blogger and YouTube. I believe this philosophy was flawed. Google+ wasn’t able to grow and become a social network that was free of the demands placed upon it.
In 2014, Google made very few announcements relating to the future of Google+. Even some of the biggest proponents for Google+ were getting concerned whether Google+ would end up being shut down.
In May of 2015, Google+ announced Collections which lead up to the announcement Google made in July of 2015. Google stated, “Google+ is quickly becoming a place where people engage around their shared interests”. Over the past 14 months since the introduction of the New Google+ interface, there have been countless updates. On January 24th, 2017 Google+ finally shut down the Classic interface.
Change of Philosophy
From being the glue that held Google’s services together, Google+ has now become a place to connect with people around shared interests. This is consistent with Google’s change of philosophy. Yet, some tech journalists have pointed to the decoupling of YouTube, Google Photos, and Hangouts from Google+ as a sure sign that Google+ is dead.
The truth is Google no longer even requires you to have a gmail account, let alone a Google+ profile. In fact, you can create a Google Account with a non-gmail email address. After creating a Google Account, you can add à la carte any of Google’s services based upon your personal needs. So you can see, it was to be expected that Google would decouple YouTube, Google Photos, and Hangouts from Google+ in order to stay consistent with their new philosophy. Google+ isn’t dead! Google+ has been reimagined!
Reimagined isn’t exactly the right word to use, though, because in reality many Google+ users were already using the platform as a way to connect around shared interests. What was lacking were features like Collections. There have also been much needed updates to Communities, like the much requested “Hold for Review”.
Collections are like “magazines” that allow you to post text, images, and links on a particular topic. Collections can be looked at as mini social media profiles embedded within a Page or Profile. Collections are discoverable through search and related content suggestions. Communities, Pages, and People are discoverable through search on Google+. Also, when a logged-in user performs a Google search outside of the platform, their personalized search results will often contain links to posts. These posts come from Profiles, Pages, and/or Collections that the user follows that relate to what they are searching for.
Moving forward, focusing on the 3 Cs will be very important. Collections, Communities, and Connections (Circles/People).
These are my top five reasons to use Google+:
- Create and Follow Collections based upon your interests.
- Join Communities to connect with people and have discussions around shared interests.
- Circle people to connect on a deeper level.
- Become known for your authority on a topic. (Great for Aviation PR!)
- Logged-in users will see links to posts from Profiles, Pages, and/or Collections that the user follows within Google search.
Google+ is not the largest social network and it has not become commercialized to the degree other social networks have. This means Google+ isn’t as noisy and is an easier platform to gain traction on. Since Google+ is owned by Google, its future is more secure than other startup social networks. To illustrate Google’s commitment, you have only to look to the fact that Google announced the addition of the platform to G Suite’s core services. This tells me Google is positioning to serve business professionals as well. I believe the future looks bright.
I am privileged to be a member of Google+ Create. Through my participation in this program, I assure you that Google is not done with enhancing Google+.
So, come on over and follow me on Google+ and say hi!