If you hadn’t heard, Google recently pushed a load of features live on Google Plus, including a brand new layout and some fancy little twirls and flashy bits. For the most part you might be thinking, “who cares, nobody uses it.” And you’d be right. Hardly anybody really uses it, but that’s the great thing about Google Plus. It’s like Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, it’s got a tiny population but a shit tonne of money and resources. This means they can make something awesome ready for when people decide it’s time to make the move. And that’s why I’d like to present to you, my Top 5 reasons why Google Plus is awesome.
1 – The status box
I’m a sucker for a nice user interface, and when you compare it to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, the new Google Plus takes a massive pretty dump all over their crowded faces. I mean just check out what happens when you go to type a new status:
The new Google Plus takes a massive pretty dump all over Facebook’s user interface
2 – Google Moods
You might have read my recent post about the new pointless feature on Facebook, Facebook Moods. Well it would seem Google have got in on that act too. But it’s the polar opposite of Facebook in that it’s only available in the mobile app version and it’s cool in a really pointless way.
Instead of a tiny little icon, you get a sweet animation to match your mood. It’s a nice little touch that has no use but to bring a little colour to your circles.
3 – Adverts
For all the money Google make on text ads on every other service they offer, Google Plus is completely void of adverts. There are no in stream ads, there are no ads down the side of the page, there are no ads in posts. Instead you get a beautifully simple and clean interface that puts what you actually want to see front and centre, with no sales pitches to get in the way.
This isn’t to say the kings of online advertising won’t eventually start putting billboards all over your circles, but at the moment it’s a pleasant change to the none stop advertising Facebook is pushing on its users (yes again I understand the irony in an online marketer berating Facebook adverts).
4 – Hashtags
Hashtags may have originally been for Twitter, but it’s another thing Google have borrowed and made better for Plus. With the new version, Google Plus suggestest relevant hashtags for your new posts. Pretty handy.
That’s not all though. When you see a hashtag you’re interested in, if you click it up flips some of the latest posts for that topic.
It even goes as far as to suggest further hashtags to the hashtag you’re looking at. Which is pretty neat but you’ve got to be careful otherwise you’ll be stuck on an endless hashtag journey bouncing from hashtag to hashtag like the Bilbo Baggins of social media.
Be careful otherwise you’ll end up like the Bilbo Baggins of social media on an endless hashtag journey
5 – The people
This is the most important reason to love the new Google Plus – there are no idiots.
Think of all those posts you usually see on your Facebook feed: “like this post to cure cancer”, “99% of people won’t repost this post because they don’t care about dandelions”, “share this post if you remember spoons”. None of that happens on Google Plus.
It’s like a calm oasis of social media bliss, the perfect a place to go for some internet meditation.
Remember in the 80s when sci-fi movies said the population of the future would all be tagged with bar codes? Well they were almost right, apart from the bar code turned out to be a Google account. Pretty much anyone with an internet connection has one, and they’re all connected to Plus, which means you’re already on Google Plus whether you knew it or not.
You use Google to search, Chrome to browse, Gmail for email and Maps to navigate – Google knows everything about you. Sure it’s scary how much data Google are collecting on people, but Facebook are doing it too and that’s ten times a worse experience. That’s why I’m seriously tempted to make Google Plus my main social media hang out. When privacy invasion looks this good, it’s hard to resist.
Google Plus – When privacy invasion looks this good, it’s hard to resist.
But what do you think, have you started using Google Plus yet? Do you think Facebook still has legs? Start a discussion in the comment box below (yes OK irony police, I know it’s a Facebook comments box and I’m suggesting people move off Facebook – get over it).