Last month Google launched their new social media platform Google+. Not being a fan of social media in general I was sceptical at first about the NEED for another “Facebook”. Surely one such platform was enough? But nevertheless I finally gave in and accepted one of the many invites I received. After playing around with it for several weeks I finally feel confident enough to give it a decent and fair review.
Google+ is quiet. Not quiet in a bad way mind you, just quiet. It’s fantastic to see my user page and not be bombarded by millions of apps and adverts. It has a nice, clean and simple UI. One of my big issues with Facebook is the sheer amount of clutter that has built up over the years. Maybe it’s just my specific OCD coming into play but the clean layout that Google+ presents me with allows me to focus more on what the people I follow are actually saying.
Another new innovation is the idea of circles. Google lets you add people to different circles. It has preset circles in place: Friends, Family, Acquaintances and Follow. However it also allows you the ability to create your own circles. On Facebook everything I share is available to everybody on my friends list. On Google+ I could create a new circle, add those people I want to that circle and then only send messages to them.
There are a number of ways to add people to circles. You can click on their name which will give you a list or, and this is one of my favourite features, you can just drag and drop their portraits into the circle you want to add them to.
Here is a cool little vid exploring circles on Google+
Something which has always bothered me about social media is there is no way to retrieve all your information once it’s on the site. There is no way to download all your photos off of Facebook or all your tweets off of twitter. In fact anything you post on Facebook is partially owned by them too! Google+ allows you to download all your data. Want to download just the images from your albums? Just your comments or statuses? You can do it in a bulk download or as separate smaller pieces.
Google+ Mobile App
Both Android and iPhone have come out with mobile apps for Google+. While I haven’t unfortunately had the opportunity to download one myself I’ve had several report backs. A friend of mine stated: “Simple and elegant - no clutter or confusion. I found it to be much more intuitive than Facebook apps for android. Sharing photos and locations is smooth, no bewildering ‘eek, where am I now?’ moments.”
Here is a simple intro vid for the mobile app.
Some Interesting statistics
Google has mostly throttled access to Google+ and still they have reached 20 million + users within than a month of its extremely premature release.
As one would expect the majority of Google+ users so far are based in technical occupations such as Engineers and Developers
1. Engineer 28,886 (24.56%) (24.56)
2. Developer 15,962 (13.57%) (13.57)
3. Designer 12,669 (10.77%) (10.77)
4. Software Engineer 11,818 (10.05%) (10.05)
5. Writer 5,734 (4.88%) (4.88)
6. Web Developer 4,972 (4.23%) (4.23)
7. Software Developer 4,317 (3.67%) (3.67)
8. Programmer 4,095 (3.48%) (3.48)
9. Photographer 3,586 (3.05%) (3.05)
10. Artist 3,276 (2.79%) (2.79)
11. TOTAL 117,620 (100%)
As such due to these professions being mainly dominated by males the current gender split of users on Google+ is not evenly distributed at all.
Male 3,143,433 (71%)
Female 1,226,716 (28%)
Other 42,077 (20%)
TOTAL 4,412,226 (100%)
Latest statistics put the male female split at around 66% male/33% female.
Top 10 Countries
United States 433,545 (55%)
India 142,339 (18%)
Brazil 41,605 (5%)
United Kingdom 38,917 (5%)
Canada 29,490 (4%)
Germany 26,494 (3%)
France 22,613 (3%)
China 20,766 (3%)
Spain 19,370 (3%)
Taiwan 19,280 (2%)
TOTAL 794,419 (100%)
It would also seem as if most Google+ users are loyal to the brand with 59% of people accessing Google + through Google chrome.
We here at Firewater are looking forward to seeing how this new environment develops. I personally believe that I have found my new social media home.