A lot of people are asking the question, “How is Google+ different from other social media services?“.
It seems that we’re already overloaded with too many forms of social media, why do we need another one? The truth, is that Google Plus not just a social media platform. In fact, Google has never used the term “social media” when describing Google+.
Instead, Google describes Google+ as a platform for “sharing“. Although there are many social aspects of Google Plus, the overall goal is not just to communicate with close friends and family. Instead, it is to facilitate the process of information sharing. If that phrase isn’t familiar to you, then you haven’t seen my about page.
Features of Google+ that Differentiate it from Traditional Social Media
Google+ Offers Everything You Need in One Place
Google+ Offers LOTS of Control
Google+ is Twitter on Steroids!
Google+ Has an Affect on Google Search
Google+ Offers Group Video Chat
Google+ Allows You to Combine News with Social Interaction
Google+ integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, YouTube and even Google Search.
If you use Gmail, Google Docs and Google+, you will only need one username and password for most of your online services.
Adding Google+ to Google’s additional services make life very convenient and people on the web love convenience!
You have more control in Google+ than in other other social platform. In Facebook, relationships are either two-way relationships or no relationship at all.
What I mean by this is that if someone “friends” you in Facebook and you accept, they are automatically added to your friends list as well.
In Google+, someone can add you to a circle (Google’s equivalent of a Facebook list) but you are not required to add them to one of your circles. If you don’t add them to a circle, they will only see your posts that you make as public.
In short, Google+ allows for one-way relationships, two-ways relationships and anything in between!
Google Plus’s update feed is very similar to Twitter. Well, except for the fact that is allows you to post images, videos and full links. It also allows you to customize exactly who you send each stream update to by using @mentions or by including and excluding entire “circles” of friends. Don’t forget that is there is also no character limit when typing a stream update in Google+!
The only thing that Google+ doesn’t offer that Twitter does, is the ability to use #hashtags to “tweet” to specific subjects. I have heard from a Google employee that Google will incorporate a very similar system in the near feature. You can even see how they’ve laid the foundation to introduce such a feature with the “Google+ Sparks” feature.
It has already been proven that tweets from Twitter affect Google search results, which means that activity in Google+ will definitely affect Google Search rankings.
By using Google+ you will have search results completely customized for you!
In Google+, you can have a video chat (called a “hangout”) with up to 10 people at once. Although this alone doesn’t make Google Plus the best social platform available, coupled with all the other Google+ features, it brings it pretty close.
Facebook announced their own Skype-powered video chat almost a week after Google+ was released but unfortunately Facebook’s video chat will only support one-on-one connections to start.
Allowing users to organize their friends and people they follow into different circles, provides users with infinite possibilities for using Google Plus.
You can create a circle for your friends and a circle for the news agencies you follow. You then have to opportunity of viewing stream updates from all of your circles at once, or only stream updates from one particular circle.
Conclusion of Why Google+ is Different
In conclusion, Google Plus doesn’t revolutionize the world of social media. Instead, it revolutionizes the world of information sharing. Google+ will change the way we gather and share our information. It also gives us one place to perform most of our online activity.
Unlike other Google attempts at social media related services (buzz, wave, etc.), Google Plus is a complete service. In fact, it is arguably the most complete social sharing service ever created.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see if user adoption catches on! Happy Google+ing!
To learn more about Google+ check out my Complete Google+ Setup Guide!