The perception of Google+ in much of the media, is that it is 'Google's version of Facebook' is a complete flop. This is wrong in two ways. Firstly, it is not Google's version of Facebook as it is a destination where you can do so much more than you can on Facebook. It integrates with Android, Chrome, Search, Gmail, Maps, Docs, Drive, Play – the list goes on and is growing! It is because of this that Google+ is month by month picking up millions of new users. There are now over 340 million in Google's community, so the idea of it being a flop is eroding as well.
Easy to use
Setting up an account, a profile, finding contacts, uploading pictures – these are all very intuitive and easy to do, as are the features that may be new to people like setting up circles and joining communities. If you do get stuck there is a virtual training tour which covers most things.
If for some reason you don't like Google+, there is a data tool which allows you to completely remove all your personal data from the website in just a few clicks. More likely if you are using it for Google+ or the many other related services, then the likelihood is that you will tell others people to use it as well and the platform will continue to grow organically.
It's great to be able to drag and drop contacts into circles, such as family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, professional bodies etc rather than broadcasting your 'share' posts and photos out to everybody, which is the default way of doing things in Facebook.
Communities can form around around interests and you can get much more interaction with people who would not normally appear on your Facebook or Twitter radar. Maybe it's my circle of Facebook friends, but most topics seem to revolve around 'inspirational' quotes, cake pictures and general self promotion. Google+ is much more a place for creative and innovative people congregating and sharing together. For people who thrive on being 'liked' then Google has an equivalent in the +1 button. Something else that looks remarkably familiar is the ability to see in real time, the most popular trending topics!
The group video chat is miles ahead of Facebook. It's easy to use – just click on the 'start a hangout' button and invite one or more of your contacts to join in. It has some great features for businesses which will certainly help with team collaboration. These include Google Drive and the ability to make online presentations and give live input to your remote team members.
It's no surprise to see that searching for people, posts, businesses and other information is quick and reliable. On Google+ and you use tools to filter out people and groups that you are not interested in, and this makes it much easier to find what you want.
You can include a follow link in your profile, which being as this is Google is quite a meaningful link to have as is setting up a 'business' page. Not only will this help you in terms of search but you may also make appearances in Google Maps and local reviews.
Guy Kawasaki, Apple evangelist and Co-founder of Alltop.com, sums up perfectly the differences between Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Twitter gives us short term, real time 'Perspectives', Facebook is about 'People' (news and pictures of friends, cats and children) and Google+ is about 'Passions'. The people you know on Facebook and Twitter aren't likely to share your interests and hobbies whereas you can share these with people and enthusiasts that you probably don't know.