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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Google+ Anymore

Google+ has now been with us for one year.

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Why You Shouldn't Ignore Google+ Anymore

It just seems like yesterday when it was announced.

Part of me said “not another social network” while the other curious Jeff thought “this could be what we need to keep Facebook honest

12 months later it appears that it is now the third largest social network in the English speaking world behind Twitter and of course Facebook.

What a lot of  people don’t realize as cocooned westerners is that we don’t have a monopoly on successful social networks with Sina Weibo in China having over  300 million users with over 100 million messages being posted every day.

It does appear though that it is now possible that Google+ will be knocking on Facebook’s door within a couple years.

Google+ Hits 250 Million Users

The actual hard numbers that Google+ has just announced at the I/O conference is that in just one year it has grown from zero to 250 million plus users. That is growth in anyone’s language.

What are some of the other facts, figures and statistics that are worth noting.

  • 150 million monthly users
  • 75 million daily users
  • Google+ active users spend over 60 minutes a day across Google products
  • Google+ users spend on average 12 minutes per day in the Google+ (that is 360 minutes per month which compares very favorably to Facebooks 441 minutes per month)
  • The Google+ team shipped a new build every day for the whole year, except one Friday in August. (that is what happens when you have deep pockets with Google+ rumored to have been developed at a cost of over $500 million)

The time spent by users per month puts another face on previous reports that Google+ engagement was poor.

Other Important  Announcements

Google isn’t sitting on its hands and continues to roll out new features for Google+ and complimentary products and services.

It is worth pointing out that  Google considers Google+ not comparable to other competing social platforms because all its different products, and particularly YouTube, Gmail and Google+ really constituted a ‘social graph’- one that would create an entire Google experience.

Google sees it as “core” to its ecosystem and considers it absolutely vital to embed social interaction with its competitive advantage in search – by making search more relevant to user experience.

So what are the other key announcements?

1. Google+ Tablet

When I bought my iPhone 3 years ago it changed how I worked and played. My iPad has taken that to a new level again. The issue for a lot of  people is the price point that the Apple tablet starts at.

Google+ has announced a new tablet that will now make it possible to put an affordable tablet in everyone’s hands. The Google Nexus 7 will come in at a price point of only $199. Amazon now has a serious competitor to its Kindle Fire.

The key specifications you might like to know about.

  • 7 inch screen
  • Operating system is Android 4.1 (playfully titled “Jelly Bean”)
  • Ships with Chrome for Android for the first time
  • 1280 x 800 resolution screen
  • 8 Gb of  Memory (next model up comes with 16Gb for $249)

What is also worth noting is that Google’s Play which is Google’s online market for Android apps, movies , music and books (with currently 20 billion downloads) is out to become a serious competitor to the Apple and Amazon stores. Also announced was the new feature of being able to buy movies and not just rent them.  So watch this space, Apple and Amazon need some competition to help keep prices down!

I think I need to buy one for my Mum and Dad. Maybe I should buy it for myself first to make sure it provides a good user experience.

2. Google+ Events

I noticed when I logged on to Google+ early this morning that a light box announcing a new feature was hovering over my Google+ account page.

Google+ has made it easy to create and market your event, whether that is a party or a conference. Google+ ways it is “for before, during and after your party

It offers these highlights.

  • 24 cinemagraphic themes (animated themes to show pictures to your invited guests)
  • You can invite anyone even if they are not on Google+ (by using their email)
  • Events are integrated into your Google calendar with a photo of the host
  • Your Google+ event guests can then be emailed to upload photos from the event
  • Google+ can aggregate all the photos from tyhe event in chronlogical order on a special page

Here is how to create an event.

It looks like it could be a stand out feature similar to the impact of Google+ “hangouts”

3. Google+ for iPad is Coming

Some of you may have been using Google+ on your iPad and it certainly needed a grownup version for the iPad. Google+ is promising that it isn’t far away.

The app is promising to be much better visually organised, so posts with more engagement are larger, and you scroll sideways to browse content.

What About You?

Will you buy a Nexus 7 tablet?  Is Google+ a social network that you should pay more attention to?

Would you consider using Google+ for your next event?

Look forward to your feedback and stories.

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