Monday, August 22, 2011

Why Google+ is still going strong as a social network

I would like to share and comment about a post by David Seaman here, creator of the website Credit Card Outlaw. He talks about 4 reasons why Google+ gets it REALLY right. Here are those reasons:

Google Plus is Ad-free (so far)  
Google Plus is invite only
Real names policy
Notifications bar

My thoughts on this:

1. Ad-free Google Plus is so much more enticing than ad-flooded Facebook. But I don't mind it that much though, because I often find good stuff from the ads, like that's how I learned about some really neat games. It's just like watching TV, and you get to learn about new shows, games, brands, products, and a lot more. A lot of people on Google Plus say they've had enough of the Sponsored ads on Facebook, and the noise level of game notifications. I personally am okay with the ads, but I absolutely dread logging in to Facebook to see a whole page of game notifications and invites.

2. Google Plus being invite-only

gives it the exclusivity feel. It gives you the feel of being a VIP because you got an invite.I also agree with David Seaman that the longer Google Plus keeps the exclusivity feel, the better it is for them. People will be asking for Google Plus invites left and right, and the fact that there are only a limited of invites one can give out.. well.. If you don't have an invite yet, sucks for you. Or maybe not, maybe you already DO have a invite, but you just didn't bother to check it in your spam-porn filled email.

3. Real names policy. Not that much of a supporter here though. A lot of people are known for pseudonyms and this has caused a whirlwind of debates on Google implementing this with a flaming iron fist. A lot of people have been banned, or warned about their pseudonyms. Sad thing is, a lot of people have also been dinged by Google for using pseudonyms, when in fact they're using their real names. I do, however, understand the importance of using real identities in a close-stringed social network. That way you can trust if the person you're talking to online is someone real, and not a dummy account created to trap you. Google should find a way to enforce the real name policy and not trudging on people for having pseudonym-sounding real names.

But this is a strong move for Google. It shows that they're serious with Google Plus, and want to make it as secure as possible for people to join, post and share content with more people. That's what Google Plus is about. It's all on sharing. Not sharing personal details and information, but sharing good, informational content to other people who wouldn't know about it if not for you sharing it, because that person is only going online for games (I almost described myself there XD).

4. Integrated notification bar for Google. I'm talking about the black bar at the top of your page.

It's really great. With that bar, most if not all of Google's services are integrated in it like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Reader, Youtube, and you can share content as easily as if you were on a G+ page. The red notification counter is also very addictive. Sometimes, after making a post, I sit and wait for the counter to go up, and in Google Plus, it usually does.

How about you? Are you using Google Plus? Are you enjoying it as much as I am? Please leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts on this topic. Oh, and please share this post using the floating icons on the left.

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