Should I Join Google+?

I’ve been using Google+ for about a week now. I was fortunate enough to get an invite almost right away, but it wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be. It was, and still is, actually kind of lonely. But hopefully that will change soon.

I’m sure there are some who are wondering what all the hype is about and if they should bother joining Google+. My short answer is, yes you should. Why? Here are some reasons.

  1. I’m lonely. Honestly, I can’t wait until more people join Google+ because it means I will have more people to interact with on it. But, that’s not really a legitimate reason, at least not for you.
  2. No ads (yet). Have you noticed how when you post a comment or status update on Facebook, the ads change to relate to what you posted? I don’t know about you, but that creeps me out a bit. Of course, Google has been doing this for years in Gmail, but at least there is the option to turn the ads off. So far Google+ has no ads, but I’m sure that will change once it’s out of beta, and then I’m guessing we’ll have a lot more control over the ads than we do on Facebook.
  3. Hanging Out. There’s this feature on Google+ called hangout, which is basically a glorified video chat. The difference is that when you start a public hangout, anyone can just join in and you have yourself a group video chat. Or you can choose to only invite a few friends, or just one if you want. It’s incredibly simple to use.
  4. Circles. One of my favorite things is the circles feature. You put all your contacts in specific circles and then when you post something, you decide which circles see those posts. For example, I have a friends, Prairie friends, family and a few other miscellaneous circles. When I want to post something that only Prairie people would care about, like “working in the SU office this afternoon, join me if you’re bored,” I just select the Prairie circle, and they are the only ones who can see it. Brilliant.
  5. Picasa. Maybe not many will care, but Facebook does nasty things to photos. Google+ works with Picasa Web Albums, which has always been a much better option than Facebook for photo sharing simply because photos look so much better on Picasa.
  6. It’s just better. Overall, Google+ is just a better experience. It’s simple, intuitive and distraction-free. Facebook has become overcrowded with games, ads and spam. Because Facebook is it’s own entity, it has to be that way. But because Google is more than just social networking, all those distractions happen outside your Google+ stream in other web applications like search, Chrome Apps and all the other features available when you have a Google account.

If you want a Google+ invite, send me a message on Facebook or email me.

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