December 8, 2012
Chat About Anything In Google+ Communities
Google+ Communities is the newest addition to the company’s social media platform. While it shares some similarity to pages, the communities are designed to foster discussion around shared topics of interest.
Several communities quickly popped up after the feature launched this week, ranging in topics from gadgets to sports or entertainment. Anyone with a Google+ account can create a page and customize the discussion topics and add an image for some subtle decoration. After creating the page add any number of subtopics to organize conversations.
Hovering over the Communities icon will provide you with an update of new posts to the board. You then have the capability to respond, or go in and edit and delete if necessary.
There is some anecdotal evidence that Google+ may be a stronger social network for discussion and sharing of more substantive topics. For example, the Anderson Cooper 360 Google+ page has 1.8 million subscribers; the Facebook page has just over 750,000. I find that more tech savvy users are drawn to Google+, leading to more conversation about cutting-edge topics.
I also appreciate the focus on content and more rigorous discussion as opposed to the unending flow of baby pictures and sophomoric political comments that lately have dominated Facebook. The layout on Google+ is also very clean (if a little heavy on the left side of the page) with plenty of open space to make text readable and images really pop out.
If you have, like many, abandoned Google+ I would recommend giving it a second look. It by no means is a threat to overtake Facebook or Twitter, but it is growing into a viable third option for connecting over substantive topics.
Those on Android will especially benefit from the one-click install button available when anyone shares an app that is in Google Play. It speaks to how strong the integration is that Google has built within its shared services. While this kind of tight data sharing is not for all, it certainly makes a powerful argument for how it can greatly improve the consumer experience.
For those who have excessive free time available, I have created a Google+ community for discussion about mobile apps. If you have something to share or just want to chat about your favorite apps about Android or iOS, feel free to join in.
Image credit: Google+