Most of us, if not all, have Facebook accounts which I assume we check every single day. Some people I know have already reached that point of exhaustion, as the Social Media gurus call it, the Facebook Fatigue. The idea is quite simple, people lost their interest in Facebook for several reasons. Some people I’ve talked to mentioned as to why and I assume I haven’t gotten to the core yet.
“Nakaka-stress ang Facebook. Ang daming nangyayari.”
“Lagi na akong nasa Facebook, masama na.”
“Hindi ako makatrabaho ng maayos kaka-Facebook.”
“Nakikita ko yung mga taong ayaw ko makita sa Facebook.”
And the list goes on and on.
It may be hard to tell if these people already ended their relationship with their favorite social networking site. Hearing all of these, I cannot help but wonder, what if at some point all of us will feel this way? Let’s be more realistic. Let’s say for example, your best friend tells you “I’ll shut down my Facebook. Just text me if you need anything.” I bet, pretty soon, you will see yourself using Facebook less because the people you want to connect with are no longer there or at least no longer “online”.
It got me thinking, where are we migrating next? Which social networking site will we use next year? Or in the coming years?
For the past month, I have been studying how Google+ actually works. I remember how I got interested in opening a Google+ account. Google said that in the beginning they wouldn’t open the site for everyone. It worked through peer invitation and I remember asking my friend to invite me so that I can open an account of my own. I can safely say that in the past year it has changed dramatically. There were so many changes and add ons and I can say that the current Google+ is promising. We just haven’t discovered it yet.
I came up with a list why Google Plus got my +1 (and yes, you will only understand this if you get your own account) and why I think it will be your future cyber hangout space.
1.) Google is the top search engine.
How many times a day do you say this line: GOOGLE MO. If you mention a name/service/product in your day to day conversations with people, you know that it is already part of your daily living. Having said that, Google+ includes the search feature in your homepage. Now, you don’t have to open another tab to search for something. As compared to Facebook, you would have to open another window/tab to type in Google. How convenient is that?
You will find this at the top left of your Google+ page. Everything I need is there.
Below the Google banner, you will see this search box.
2.) Almost all the people I know have a Gmail account.
The best word to describe Google is integration. I for one believe that Google in itself is a Solar System. Everything they created is integrated so that nothing goes to waste. I am certain that most of us created our e-mail addresses first before we joined social networking sites, website subscriptions etc. It is safe to say that our e-mail address is our cyber ID. Google allows us to work with all their programs and applications through one e-mail ID. If you want to open your Google+ account now, you just need to input your Gmail. Of course you want to find your friends, am I right? Google will help you scan your e-mail for addresses and in seconds you will find people from your own database. For forgetful people like myself, imagine remembering one username and password for all. Personally, that’s how technology should work for us.
3.) What’s happening in the world today? EXPLORE.
In your homepage, you will find an Explore button on the left which will lead you to a page with the latest news and trending topics around the world. You don’t have to open another tab anymore, you can browse this page for updates.
4.) What’s in it for me?
In the Home button, you will find your personal page. A status box is provided if you want to share messages, photos, videos and links to any of your Circles (Group classifications you create This will all depend on how you want to group people). Above the status box, you will see your Circles. If you click on each, you will find posts from the people in your circles and of course your own posts for them as well. On the left side, you will see thumbnails of people you may know. If you hover over each, you can instantly add people to your Circles. It’s very easy. No need to go to another page to add people.
I really like this feature because sharing is personal and you won’t worry about other people seeing posts you don’t want them to see. If I am in a company, this may also be good for brainstorming sessions etc.
It is easy to create your own Circles. You just drag and drop people’s thumbnails. You have power over who sees your posts. Personalization is fun and safe. What do you think?
6.) Chat and Hangout
Google+ also has a chat feature. Whenever a friend is online, you can easily see it through a colored circle beside your friend’s name. They took it a little further by creating a Hangout button which allows you to do video calls with people you want to talk to. So if you have friends from different countries, you can now contact them via Hangout.
7.) New Events Feature
I haven’t used this feature yet but I am sure that this will come in handy soon. Imagine checking out one photo album for an event you just attended. Isn’t that convenient? Instead of browsing through several albums to get your photos, why not just open one album for all?
Don’t you just love technology? Shoot, upload and share from your phone. I think that is an awesome feature.
8.) Where to go on a Saturday night? Check out Local.
Local is a feature that allows users to give reviews of local establishments. So if you like searching for what’s hip and happening around the Metro, I believe you will enjoy this feature.
9.) Everything’s here!
Of course you are asking, what else is in Google+? It also has the usual stuff we like: photo uploading, games, applications etc. These are features we already know only that we can find it in one site. This is perfect for people who don’t like desktop clutter. Google+ can still be improved but personally I like it as it is.
10.) MY CONFESSION: I never log out my Google+.
Having said all that, my prediction is, sooner or later we will fancy another Social Networking Site. Let’s face it, tech companies will continue to evolve and change (as we always say) is inevitable. Watch out for Google+, it may possibly be the next big thing.
SOME GOOGLE+ FACTS AND FIGURES
- It was launched on June 28, 2011
- Google+ reached 10 million users by July 14, 2011
- 67% of Google+ users are male
- Google “+1″ button is served more than 5 billion times daily
- It is gaining 625,000 users per day
- In less than one day the Google+ iPhone app became the most popular free application in the Apple App store