Thursday 19 October 2017

#286 Is Google Plus worth the hassle?

It'd been around for ages but I'd never used it. Countless times I'd seen that little red circle with "G+" in it and had just ignored it. Upon recently discovering it, I wished I'd done so ages ago.

Thousands and thousands of people. Millions. All nattering away about whatever subjects took their fancy. Communities. Threads. The place was exploding with viewpoints, information and lore. It wasn't the worst place to share a blog post or two either, providing you created, or contributed to a relevant discussion and put the link in the comments section.

I knew why I'd taken so long to start using it. I didn't know anyone on there. Or rather, I didn't know if I knew anyone on there. I'd been able to get by for years with just Facebook. Dabbled a bit in Instagram. Twitter was still fairly new to me.

I'd joined the careers, philosophy, psychology and relationships groups. Each one had plenty of new topics added every day. The waterfall-like front end of each community kept all the content current although I did wonder how and where all that material got archived.

For all of the enjoyment and engagement that I could see myself getting out of G+, I knew it wasn't going anywhere fast. Relative to Google's size and brand strength, G+ had been a flop. It was almost like the Wimpy of social networks. It had earned its place though. The G+ Youtube community had 3.6 million members, making it a solid platform for sharing and discussing videos. Its largest subject area groups each had a million or two followers.

With over a hundred million users in total, G+ wasn't some dusty, quiet corner of the internet. It was an active, fast-flowing source of knowledge and attention. The fact that it couldn't compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram didn't matter. It seemed to be doing just fine. It had taken a long, long time for me to notice it but once that happened, I was quick to start using it more often. After just a short while of playing around with G+, I was more than happy to drag the little red circle up to my favourites bar.

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