Google+ Is Here To Stay

  Sure, Facebook has all your friends and Twitter is where you keep in the know of what’s going on in the World, but Google+ is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Now the third largest social network in the English speaking world behind Twitter and of course Facebook, Google+ has gone from zero to 250 million plus users in just one year.

Here are some quick facts 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 Facebook’s 441 minutes per month)

Unlike other social networks, Google+ is integrated into the entire Google ecosystem of products and services like Google Search, YouTube and Gmail. Google considers it absolutely vital to embed social interaction with its competitive advantage in search – by making search more relevant to the user experience. This, above all other social networks, truly constitutes a ‘social graph’- one that would create an entire Google experience.

With new features rolling out regularly, it seems that the time has come to give Google+ a second look. At this years’ Google I/O keynote, the hot topics included the Nexus 7 tablet, Google+ Events, and Google+ applications for tablets and the iPad. Here’s a quick overview of each.

1. Google+ Tablet

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. 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), will now make movies available to buy and not just rent. Watch out Apple, Amazon, and Netflix!

Key specifications you might be interested in.

  • 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)

2. Google+ Events

Google+ has made it easy to create and market your event, whether it’s an open house or a conference. Google+ says it is for “before, during and after your event”.

It offers these highlights.

  • 24 cinema graphic 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 the event in chronological order on a special page

Here’s 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

Google is finally bringing Google+ to Android tablets and the iPad.

The new Google+ for tablets will arrive in the Google Play Store and iOS App Store “soon.” Both apps will feature a new stream layout that looks similar to the phone versions, except it scrolls both vertically and horizontally depending on how the device is held. The larger screen also means photos will appear much larger than they do on the phone apps.

As in the phone apps, Google+ for tablets will feature Hangouts, so users will finally be able to video chat with multiple people at once on their iPad or Android tablet. Users no longer have to use a pixel-doubled version of the Google+ app on the iPad for Hangouts or any other features.

What’s Your Take?

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

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