“Google Plus?” “Google +?” “What’s all that about? It’s just another facebook wannabe website. No one even uses it.” It’s funny how I hear all these things being said by people in UK. In all honesty, using Google Plus over here in the UK isn’t as active as using facebook. The funny thing about Google Plus is that you don’t have to be using it, to be using it. So what do I mean about that?
The thing about Google Plus is that is it is very well integrated with Google as a whole and it is continually being integrated as time goes on – eventually making any of our Google activity, social. It’s very subtle, but it’s there. Below I will just go through a few typical examples an average technically savvy person would do on Google.
Google Mail – Gmail
You know that if you have a Google mail account, you are automatically part of the Google umbrella. Unlike facebook, you don’t have to sign up for facebook to be part of its social network. If you have a Google Mail account, you are already part of the social network. It’s just a case of activating it.
It’s fair to say that nearly everybody uses Google as their default search engine. It’s the thing that makes Google, Google! It’s what we all understand Google to be and it’s where they make their money. If you cast your mind back to the early versions of Google, it didn’t really look much different to than it is today. They’ve done a good job keeping changes gradual as people like the comfort of not knowing things are changing. However, for those eagle eyed surfers, you may have noticed the changes that it has actually gone through and you probably notice the odd +1 buttons on the search results. Clicking on that is kind of like “like”ing an article as you would do on facebook but this is the Google Plus version and it’s integrated to everyone’s number 1 website. This apparently helps for search engine optimisation.
If you are like me you will have integrated your blog with Google Plus, so searching Google for my articles will show my picture which is only possible if I have a Google Plus account – this also apparently helps for search engine optimisation.
This is probably the number 1 internet browser out there, and it is certainly one I would recommend over Internet Explorer. Nowadays, using Google Chrome would mean that you are signed into Google and browsing the internet. There isn’t actually a lot of Google Plus integration in this browser but it is definitely a platform for Google to use should they want people to use Google Plus more.
With over 700 different Android devices available and millions of users using Android, with the requirement of having signed into a Google account to be able to do anything useful with the Android device then you are already part of the Google link. Going onto the Play Store to download an app, you have an option to +1 an app and that is exclusive for Google Plus only. Android 4+ comes pre-installed with Google Plus & sharing functionality includes the ability for post on your Google Plus wall. With phones that have front facing camera’s they are likely to stumble on using Google Hangouts at some point which is a Google Plus feature. This will eventually become Google Plus in your pocket which will travel with you & notify you about anything new when it happens.
A lot of people I know tend to use Google Maps whenever searching for a particular location/business. Every business/organisation on there has a Google Plus page associated and you find this out by clicking on “More info”. On the more info page, you will find the business information with reviews of the place.
Not everyone but a lot of people who uses Google Maps on their Android handset has the latitude feature enabled. This services is essentially a means of getting to know the whereabouts of your (latitude) friends. Latitude is also a means of being able to “check in” to a particular location the Google way and you can guess what that uses, Google Plus!
In summary, as you can see, if you are using some kind of Google service, it is quite likely you are using Google Plus due to its vast integration with its family of Google products. Would I use it over facebook? I would, but facebook is a lot more explicitly used by people I know where as Google Plus is implicitly used.