What is Google+? Simply put, Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook. But is Google+ a straight copy of Facebook? Not really.
The main difference is that Google+ acts as a social layer on top of every Google product. Now, you can +1 anything (think of +1’ing like Liking something on Facebook). It’s the same idea. To make it a little more confusing, there is a Facebook-type page where you can see all of your friend’s activity.
Google+ also focuses on sharing your information differently to different groups of your friends. For example, you don’t want to share the same information with your co-workers as you do your old college roommates. Google is calling this Google Circles. It features an innovative and fun interface that allows you to put people in the circles.
Google+ is also going to be powerful on Google’s search. You’ll be able to see everything that your friends have +1’ed in the search results. Let’s say you were looking for the best air conditioner repair man and you type it into Google. Seeing who your friends have recommended (by clicking the +1 button), is a lot more powerful than simply allowing Google’s computers to give you what they think is best.
Facebook has been long-rumored to being working on a social-powered search engine to rival Google, but in this case, it looks like Google beat them to the punch.
Will Google+ be the next Facebook? Probably not. Facebook will still be around, but you’ll start seeing Google pull in more social information into search results, emails, Google Reader, etc. Ultimately, Google+ will succeed for one reason – everyone automatically opts in. Everyone will start seeing the +1 button on sites and will be able to click it, without having to log in.
Google is still the giant online and it looks like their social ambitions might finally pay off, especially after the failed launches of Google Buzz and Google Wave.
Google has also managed to focus on design with this launch. Not only are the Google+ pages beautiful, but they’ve also slowly been rolling out new designs for Google Search, Google Calendar and Gmail.
It’s been a good couple of days for Google. We’ll continue to keep an eye on how it progresses and how businesses can benefit from it.
Best, Chrissy Madison Social Media Specialist