I use Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to varying degrees. I consider Twitter to be a very different type of social network than Facebook and so they don’t really compete with each other for my attention, but with every single update that Google+ offers I find myself preferring it to Facebook by an ever-widening margin. If you aren’t using both already or are looking to steer away from Facebook, here are 5 good reasons to check out Google+.
For those of you that use Facebook, this is entirely new to you. It’s a Twitter feature that Google+ “borrowed” and I’m glad they did. If you aren’t aware of what trends are, it’s essentially a one or two word phrase that is being used extensively across the social network at that very moment. Google+ doesn’t handle trending topics quite as well as Twitter does, but it’s still nice to see and I’m sure it’s something they’ll improve upon in the future.
Google+ Hangouts are, at their core, group video chat. It’s well designed, easy to initiate or join, and has enormous potential for connecting long-distance friends and family as well as huge business potential. Facebook doesn’t even offer anything close to a competing service, so there’s nothing to compare.
- Privacy Controls
Frankly, Facebook and Google+ can offer the same levels of privacy, controlling who can see what and how much of your personal information certain people have access too. What Google+ does differently is its simplicity. Anyone who has tried to dig through Facebook’s privacy controls knows what a nightmare that can be. With Google+, however, controlling who sees what and other privacy settings could not possibly be easier to understand, navigate, and control.
- Design, Layout, and User Interface
I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has told me how much they love Facebook’s visual design and user interface. It’s mediocre, at best, and seemingly every other month it gets an “upgrade” that just makes things worse. Google+, however, is visually appealing, simple yet elegant, and could not possibly be easier to navigate. Unlike Facebook, which appears to have been visually designed by the programmers, Google+ appears to have put just as much effort in to the design as they did the programming behind it.
- Mobile Apps
The mobile market is an increasingly larger piece of the social networking pie, so one would think it would be important to do it right. I can speak from personal experience that Facebook’s iPhone app is a steaming pile of you-know-what. It’s easily the slowest and buggiest app on my phone. From what I hear, the Android version isn’t any better (Some accounts say it’s worse, which would be an impressive feat). Google+, however, is even more visually pleasing than the website itself. I’ve yet to have it crash on me and it’s as speedy as you’d expect any app to be on an iPhone 4S.
If any of the above reasons make you think that Google+ has potential, go sign up. It’s worth checking out. Unlike Facebook, it’s really quite easy to delete your account if you don’t like it or find yourself not using it. Because it is still very new and not many people are actively using it (yet?), it will seem a bit slow, but the more people that decide to frequent Google+, the more active it will get. Oh, and while you’re at it, please circle Chai Life.