Google Plus, or G+, is one of those platforms that we all definitely love to hate. It’s not quite Facebook and it’s not quite Twitter, and ultimately it’s just become a difficult platform to fit into our lives. As a social network, it’s struggled to take off and a common complaint I often hear is, “None of my friends are on it so why should I bother?”
Personally, the more I use G+, the more I appreciate its inherent simplicity and how (at least to me) it offers you the best of both Twitter and Facebook (and I’m only using these as an example since they’re the ones we automatically compare).
Here, then, are my top reasons for reconsidering G+:
The Entire Google Experience
It’s a platform that is intended to be used along with all of the other Google products, and has become more integrated into the entire Google experience (including search). This means that being on G+ will only serve to support your other Google endeavours.
It offers you a completely different way to discover and share content on the web. Also, if you’re familiar with how G+ Circles work, it’s great for curating the amazing content you find online.
Simple, Straightforward Privacy
G+ allows for simple, straightforward privacy for your content and personal information, in a way that other networks simply don’t. One of Facebook’s biggest drawbacks has always been confusing and self-serving privacy practices. For example, try and work out how to turn off having your "Likes" included in ads or prevent people from seeing those embarrassing posts from 2007.
It becomes a particularly difficult process when you bring the whole list creation process into account, which helps to customize your privacy options (we’ve all accepted those “friends” on Facebook who aren’t really our friends). Grouping people is something that is included within G+ and therefore your privacy options become simple, and because of the design, obvious as well - especially for those users that aren’t familiar with the platform:
The G+ iPhone app is, simply put, beautiful. I’m an iPhone user and the first iPhone app they released was very average. They have, however, improved it dramatically since 2011. If you’re using G+, you have to use the app (the Android app is of course, also amazing):
One word: Hangouts!
This is often described as G+’s best feature and I tend to agree. Hangouts are definitely the best way to keep in contact with friends or to use as a platform to teach others about your industry, or what your business does. 'Hangouts on Air' automatically syncs with your YouTube account, which is useful if you’d like to record the discussion to share with others, or distribute across your other social channels.
Less Clutter And Bloat
I think we give G+ a hard time because of our natural inclination to compare it to what we are already familiar with, and how we feel let down when it turns out to be different. If I look at where Facebook was 4 or even 5 years ago, and compare it to the 2012 version, it’s a totally different animal. G+ has been around for little over a year, and I think there’s a lot of room for it to grow and evolve into something very unique. I don’t think Google will give up on it just yet, and neither should we.