Learning to love Google+

Among the plethora of social networking tools, Google+ seems to come in for an awful lot of abuse. It’s been described as “empty”, a “desert” and a “failure” by various commentators.

Sure, it’s no Facebook.

But that’s the reason I’ve come to like it over the last year or so.

Let me expand.

  • Google+ communities are great for discussions and debates with fellow enthusiasts or technical experts. I’ve posted to various communities looking for input or feedback and had nothing but constructive and helpful comment. Are people better behaved on Google+? I can’t say for sure, but it has a far lower percentage of douches than you might encounter elsewhere.
  • The Google+ iOS app is really, really nice. It’s well designed, easy to use and fully functional. It makes me *want* to use it. As far as I’m concerned, Facebook and Tumblr are playing catch-up here. Additionally, the automatic photo back-up from the iPhone is very convenient.
  • With Google+, you get lots more control over who you share what with – from public right down to the individual. This is important if you care about your privacy or just want to share certain content and photos with close friends, while other links and thoughts can be open to the public. It’s really very intuitive once you get to use it.
  • Google+ is becoming a more popular sharing option on websites, alongside Twitter and Facebook, making it easier than ever to share content with friends. Even when not explicitly listed on websites, it’s as simple as a quick copy & paste and Google+ turns your link into a nice blog-style post.
  • Via a laptop/desktop browser, I *love* the Google+ interface. It’s clean and easy to navigate. It does great things with photos too! Its ‘auto-awsome’ features are excellent.

Again, it’s no Facebook. I use Facebook alongside Google+. One is full of friends and family, sharing pictures of babies and holidays. The other is full of interesting links to stories, photos of things that interest me and communities of fellow enthusiasts and fans of the things I like.

You don’t have to choose between them. They’re doing different things.

It’s got failings, but no social network is perfect.

Go on – give it a go. You never know, you might like it.

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