Heard of it? If not, you might need to crawl out from underneath that rock you’ve been living under and take a look at the world in daylight. It’s been around for a while now. For the first month or two or whatever, it was in a closed beta, but now it’s in an open beta and anyone can sign up.
If you’re on Facebook, there’s a decent chance you’ve heard of Google+ because the masses are panicking over the changes taking place on Facebook and some are crying “FOUL – I’m headed to Google+”
I have to say that the changes Facebook recently made, as inconvenient as they were, are not bad. It takes a little getting used to, but change always takes some getting used to. The problem is that most people (myself included) generally resist change. I had not really had the opportunity to check out some of the new changes on Facebook until this morning because I generally access the site from my phone. Aside from the combining of the “Top News” and “Most Recent” features, I really hadn’t seen much in regard to the ticker and the groups and all that stuff.
And I’d like to make something clear. The ability to group your contacts and choose who to share what with on every post has been around on Facebook for a while. This is not a new feature and it’s not a feature that they copied from Google. They did make one change, however, that mimicked Google and that was the ability to change with whom a post is shared after it has already been posted. Gotta give Google the win on that one.
I’ve been on Facebook for a long time. I wouldn’t say I’ve been there since the beginning, but I was there before it REALLY caught on with the masses. Some of the changes I’ve liked and others I merely tolerated.
All that said, I am an avid fan of Google+.
I signed up early on in the closed beta of Google+ but I rarely used it. There weren’t that many people that I knew on there just yet and I didn’t like keeping up with two social networks. When they opened up to all users recently, I started using it a little more. I was quite offended the first time I took a picture with my Android phone and then got a notification that it had been uploaded to Google+. I was pretty upset actually. I hurried over to G+ on my phone and deleted the pictures. Turns out they are not just automatically shared like I first assumed. They are stored in a private album in Picasa for you. That’s pretty dang cool. It’s an automatic backup of every picture you take on your phone. Can’t really complain about that.
Today, for the first time, I really started checking out G+ on a computer instead of my phone. Like Facebook, my experience was limited to my phone and there’s a lot I was missing. It’s one thing to get the notifications on your phone when stuff is going on in G+, but it’s another thing when you’re checking your email, working in docs, using Google Voice, or other things that you might regularly do in different Google Apps and have a little notification number light up in the corner. Click on it, see the notification and respond if you want without ever leaving what you’re working on. I LOVE IT.
I’m sure that it still has some growing to do, but if you haven’t already checked it out, you should. I’m sure it won’t be long before there will be an ability to share your posts from G+ to Facebook or vice versa, but taking the time to sit down and play with Google+ for a few minutes is well worth the time investment.
And…if you would be so kind, I would love it if you are one of the few fans of this site or a friend who is just willing to do me the favor: if you have a G+ account or sign up for one…do a Google search for braindungeon and give me a “+1”. Come on…you know you want to!