Social Networking always existed offline. But it was when that jumped to the online domain, things got interesting. According to the latest statistics, 54% of Indians online use the internet for Social Networking. With Facebook being the prime social website of choice and twitter fast catching up, the question begs to be asked is do we need another social network?
Well that question has been answered by Google Plus which is that latest kid on the block. Giving users a host of never before seen features, great UI and of course Google’s integration; Google Plus comes across as a great alternate to your Facebook loving ways. Its astronomical growth also tells a compelling story on how well it’s been accepted by netziens. All reasons why I decided to do a bit of digging around to bring you a bunch of interesting stats dolled up infographic style.
Key Findings from the Google plus Infographic
A few key talking points for Google plus which can be inferred from the infographic are:
- Google plus has (as on 1st October 2011) touched 50 million users in just 88 days. Google Plus is the fastest to reach this milestone where its peers Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn took 1325, 1096, 2354 days respectively.
- Demographics wise, Google + is heavily skewed to the male segment of the population with 69% Males and the rest 30% females. However with Google + now open to the public, the demographics should even out with time.
- The Top country using Google + is obviously the United States with a 36% share. Interestingly at second position is our very own India contributing with 13% Google + users (surprised?). Personally I was pretty pleasantly surprised at India notching second position and would love for Indian users to dominate Google + usage.
Sounds Great, But what’s in it for me?
I did speak of the cool features initially right? Don’t worry cause I’ll let you know (in brief of course, don’t want you dozing off) the standout stuff about Google plus. Read on to know why you should try Google + and how it fares in the Facebook vs Google Plus war.
Now if you’re thinking Google is like Facebook, this is one of the features that differentiate it in the Facebook vs Google plus debate. In Facebook you might recall that if you post an update, all of your friends see it. Google Plus Circles gives you control to share updates only with circles you want to share with. Using circles, you can group your contacts into say friends, office colleagues and family (it’s customizable) and share updates relevant to the circle. Other circles will not be able to see the update if it was not shared with them.
If reading all this has your mind going around in circles (pun intended), I suggest you watch this video to get the hang of this circular concept.
Photos and Hangouts (group video chat)
Where Google + gets an upper hand in the Facebook vs Google Plus battle is Hangouts. Google plus takes a new approach to video chat where in case you want to start a video, you start a “Hangout”. Once you’re in a “Hangout” a message goes out to all those in your social circles, that lets your friends (in the respective circle), know that you’re in the video chat room. After your friends get the notification, most probably they will join you (if they don’t, you better find new friends).
The G+ has a dedicated multimedia area where you can edit photos, tag people and of course choose the all important privacy and sharing options.
No I’m not asking you to light a firecracker here. Google + has sparks which is essentially a collection of articles, videos, photos and other cool stuff that’s grouped by interest. Data is collected relying on data from other Google products as well as stuff being shared via Google + 1 buttons (not a bad idea to get one on your website eh?). Taking an example the Android spark would contain information about android (links, images, articles, posts, etc).
Google + on Mobile
Google + features a pretty well developed app for both Android and iPhone so you can use it on the go. The knockout feature is something called instant uploads (auto upload feature). So point is any photo or video you take on your mobile will be uploaded to the computer and ready to share next time you log on, and then you can manually select which photos you want to share and which you don’t.
Social Gaming on Google +
For all the social gaming fans out there, gaming has made its entry into G+. With an expanding bouquet of games, social gaming will be on Google plus in a big way…watch out ibibo. So in case you’re used to building cities (CityVille) and waging mafia battles (Mafia Wars) you should be right at home. Also did I mention you can play Angry Birds on Google plus too?
Shah Rukh on Google Plus
With Google Plus gaining immense popularity in India, could Bollywood be far behind? None other than Shah Rukh Khan is on Google Plus beating the other Indian actors becoming the first verified Indian celeb on Google Plus. Well all the more reason for you to be on Google Plus ( in case you’re a fan of king khan)
I personally think that G+ is going to be a strong challenger to Facebook & with the power of Google behind it & a much improved product compared to Google Buzz, G+ is here to stay. Marketers should start taking notice of G+ & future proof themselves & their brands by establishing their brands presence on G+ as soon as it becomes public. On the minus point, Google plus takes a bit of learning to use it flawlessly and some features are a bit complicated to use. It will be interesting to see if Google Plus continues to grow at this rate and how the next chapter of the Google Plus vs Facebook battle pans out. Also in case you didn’t know, I’m on all the major social networks Google Plus, LinkedIn as well as Twitter. So give me a shout in case you have a point to make related to Google Plus, Search Engine Optimization, Internet marketing or anything digital. Till then, this is Me, Myself & I signing off, may the Force be with you.