Google+ has grown massively since 2011, the year it was created and it is already the second biggest social network after Facebook, counting 300 million active users. Despite its growth those last three years, many users find it difficult to use, others are not even aware of its presence, and some believe that other social networks available are more adequate for their needs, as they don’t know of its full potential.
There are many social networks available, used either for similar or entirely different purposes. The most popular social network by far is Facebook followed by Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Foursquare. So why should anyone consider Google+? Is it really useful? Why does it really matter?
Why should someone use Google+
Google+ is an excellent social network with many applications and enormous prospects as it is owned by Google. It is a strong tool not only for average users, but also for professionals from all sectors.
Its basic difference from other social networks is that it emphasizes on users interests. A user who is passionate about chess can find other people who also love chess, share information about the game and participate in relevant conversations.
Despite the fact that its interface is not very friendly, Google+, has three major distinct advantages:
Communities are the most dynamic part of Google+ and nowadays there are more than 100,000. Compared to other groups/forums they have many advantages. Every user can create his community or participate in open and/or closed communities for as long as he is accepted. Communities are always about a specific subject. Their members can chat about their common interests, ask questions, make comments and stay up to date with current trends. For example, a Python developer community adds posts relevant to its members’ interests. There are also categories in posts which are archived, so that a user can follow separately each feed. If there is a user who breaks the rules of a community he will be punished accordingly.
Hangouts enable users to perform live video conferences with up to ten people as well as live broadcasting. Such a broadcast can be stored for future reference at YouTube. Hangouts are not just used for communication between friends. They are also used for press conferences, job interviews, customer service, student classes and other programs. In many cases they operate on a voluntary or contributory basis, e.g. when someone is having a free foreign language class.
According to recent studies, the most important Social Media Signal used by Google is +1 and Google+ shares. Google Authorship allows many columnists to link their columns with their profile in Google+. According to all recent studies, Google Plus might increase the click through rate as the page will have a stronger presence within the SERPs.
Google+ is necessary indeed
It is evident, according to all those stated above, that Google+ is an underestimated social network. Its creator, Google, is trying to promote it by all means in order to break the Facebook monopoly, and have its fair share of the Social Media market. After some not so successful efforts with Google Wave and Google Buzz, it looks like Google has finally learned from its own mistakes and has found a way to enter the Social Media arena. The strongest weapons of Google+ are Hangouts with their impressive capabilities, the Communities (doing an excellent job on informing their members of their interests), and finally its vast SEO potentials.
All those mentioned above, as well as the fact that Google offers many other important and useful services like its search engine, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Analytics, Google Maps and Google Earth among others, make many specialists believe that Google+ will soon manage to become the largest Social Network offering the best user experience by far.