Why is there still Google Plus

What is Google+ and why should you use it?

Google+ is the fourth social network of the company Google Inc. and thus also the fourth attempt to integrate a social media platform with Google. After Google Buzz, Google Friend Connect and Orkut were all discontinued, Google+ is now gaining acceptance among users worldwide.

The network, which has been online since June 2011, could initially only be reached via invitations from already registered Google users. This restriction was lifted in the same year. Google+ is one of the fastest growing networks in the world.

According to statista, there are currently (as of April 2015) around 2.5 billion people registered on Google+. An increase of around 57 percent compared to the previous year. Of these, around 300 million users are active, a total of 12 percent of the registered users.

With the new Google+ boss Bradley Horowitz, the network is to be further developed and speculation that the network is coming to an end in the sand. According to Horowitz, Google+ is far from dead, as many users suspect due to the stagnating renewals. However, it is unclear what the future of the social network has in store for us. It remains exciting.

Is it worth comparing it to other social networks?

Circles vs. lists, +1 vs. Like, the comment function - many elements that Google+ built in already existed, which is why Google+ is often referred to as a direct competitor to the network giant Facebook. But do both have the same interests?

There is a definite difference between them. Facebook can only be reached via one page, while Google+ is just one of many Google products: Google Search, Gmail, Youtube, Google Maps and many other offers can now be linked directly to one another. So Google did not intend to “just” create a competitor to Facebook. It was and is more important to be able to observe user connections between the various products and to use this data for themselves.

This has the advantage for Google of getting to know its users and being able to follow them better. Advertising can be designed more appropriately, which ultimately also benefits the consumer. User data is also evaluated on Facebook, although the focus here is on connecting users to one another. Events are invited, photos are uploaded, shared and all content is exchanged. In this way, Facebook has gradually grown into a familiar area where friends meet virtually to spend time together.

Of course, there are also one or the other brand or shop that is liked. But that happens more incidentally. Companies only discovered Facebook over time. In spite of the smaller reach and the time advantage of Facebook, Google+ has the decisive advantage of web search. The main focus is therefore on knowing what users are interested in.

Seen in this way, it is not worthwhile to compare the two networks with one another, as they not only had different prerequisites when they were created, but also pursue different goals.

Advantages of google

From the user's point of view, the question remains why you should create a new social network profile if you already have one.

Google+ offers its users many advantages:

  • Google is one of the most influential internet companies. Where Twitter relies on compressed, fast messages and Facebook is responsible for exchanging information with friends, people with a wide range of interests and numerous topics can be found on Google+. Whether music, photography or online marketing - users like to comment and exchange ideas. Google+ is a welcome change in everyday online life.
  • Google is practically everywhere: applications such as YouTube, Google Maps or Gmail are preinstalled on smartphones. In this way, users can benefit from the services and enjoy easy handling thanks to the link.
  • According to Google, around 300 million users are active in the stream. The rumor of the fallow ghost town is not confirmed. Since there are hardly any questionable accounts on Google+, but mainly high-quality content, your own stream is not clogged with spam.
  • There is no advertising.
  • Contributions can be edited afterwards.
  • Google+ relies on a simple design that is not overloaded and photos are integrated appropriately.
  • Google+ also offers a number of advantages for companies. In the search results of Google Search, the Google+ company pages with profile picture appear on the right. Companies can use the numerous functions, such as the free video chat, for their customer loyalty and evaluate information relevant to advertising.

How do I create my Google+ profile?

After you have decided on Google+, you can start creating your profile. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1) Create a Google account: To do this, you must fill out all fields, create a password and agree to the terms of use. You can decide whether you want to use your current email address or get a new Gmail address. The protection of personal data and privacy is important. Here new Gmail users can choose from many privacy settings.

Step 2) In the next step you can create a public Google+ profile: Click on “Register with Google+” (red marking) and upload a profile picture. Then click on “Perform upgrade”.

Step 3) Now friends and acquaintances can be added: A search bar appears where you can search for people (e.g. name, university, e-mail, etc.) on Google+. By clicking on “Next”, users can follow things they like, for example soccer or fashion profiles. These steps can be skipped for the time being, always click on "Next".

Step 4) In the last step, you can make your profile more personal: For example, you can specify your work or your place of residence. This step can also be skipped for the time being and registration with Google+ can be completed by clicking on “Done”.

First steps on Google+

Step 5) You will now see the profile view. Google+ proposes a virtual tour to introduce you to the most important functions.

Step 6) To make your profile more personal, you have to move the mouse pointer over “Overview” at the top left until the menu bar pops up and click on “Profile”. Look for a nice background picture and profile photo here at the latest.

In the upper bar you can choose between “About me”, “Articles”, “Collections”, “Photo”, “Videos”, “+1” and “Ratings”. You can also see the profile from your point of view, publicly or from the point of view of a specific person. In the section “About me” you can call up all information about yourself in different colored windows and change it at any time using the blue text “Edit”. This includes information about training, locations or contact information, for example.

If you click on “Edit”, you can choose between the windows and determine at the top right which information you want to show publicly or only for certain groups.

Step 7) To keep your account active, you can make contributions at any time. To do this, click either on “Posts” in the top bar or on “Overview” in the menu bar. In the text field "What's new?" Now indicate what you want to share and optionally attach photos, links, videos, events or votes. You can share your contribution publicly, only with certain groups or individuals. Hashtags are suggested automatically by Google+ or you can choose yourself. You can call up your own contributions under “Contributions” in your profile.

Step 8) To add more contacts, move your mouse pointer over the left menu bar and click on “People”. Suggestions from people in the address book, educational institution and job appear on the right, depending on how much information you have already given. Of course, people can also be searched manually again.

In the upper bar you will find circles in which you are already yourself, your own circles and the “Discover” function. There you will be given suggestions from all areas, such as politics, sports or travel.

Step 9) Once you have found people who are of interest to you, you can add them to certain circles. To do this, move your mouse pointer over “Follow” and you can assign them to existing circles or create a new circle.

As soon as you have personally designed your profile and added your first contacts, you will get to the overview on the menu bar. This is your timeline where you can see public shared posts or even those from specific circles. In the upper cross bar you can choose between the different circles.

Use the time to edit your new profile, post your first posts and explore Google+. One thing can be said without a doubt - Google+ is anything but a ghost town!