Two days ago I got a Google+ account thanks to the sudden opening of application for a limited time. In the last 48 hours, I played around and found that Google+ has huge potentials to be unearthed. It’s not just a social network, use it smart you can turn it into useful tools. Some web apps and services may find themselves being threatened by Google+.
(1) Bookmarking Services like Delicious
Create a private circle with nobody in it. Whenever you discover anything interesting, either from the net or streams of people you follow, share it to this private circle. As time goes by you build up a collection of bookmarks. This is a creative use suggested by The Next Web.
(2) Short Messaging like Whatsapp
Create circles with your friends in it. Send messages by creating new streams. If your friends have Google+ app for smartphone (currently only available in Android, iOS app pending Apple’s approval), it works just like sending SMS or message via Whatsapp. What makes this method more appealing is that you have a web interface to send message.
(3) News Subscription like RSS Reader
I found that I’m less dependent on Google Reader after using Google+. I could easily follow new things on topics I like. Sparks certainly cannot replace RSS feed readers, but this topic-oriented subscription gives more than just following.
For example, as I blogger I would love to know who mentioned my web site in their web sites. Instead of doing a manual search in Google everyday, I can create a Spark with the name/URL of my blog “Cloud High Club“. Google helps me to monitor the internet.
Or you can check how people review Chromebooks by subscribing to “Chromebook review” in Sparks. You don’t have to manually subscribe to a lot of tech blogs and search in the RSS Reader. Google did it already before serving you the results.
(4) Social News and Discussion like Reddit
Doesn’t Google+ work like reddit? You share something, a web site or a message, people read and rate it with +1. The only difference is that you cannot -1 a stream. But with Sparks you could easily find topics for discussion.
(5) Micro-Blogging like Twitter
I found that people on Google+ like sharing short messages, funny images and cool web sites. This is so Twitter. In Google+, you add people into your circles without their permissions. Things you choose to say publicly would be listened by people who follow you. And it has higher flexibility than Twitter, since you can determine who could see each message every time you post.
(6) Video Chatting like Skype
Tried Hangouts in Google+. It allows up to 10 people chatting together. Video and audio are smooth. The way Hangouts work is interesting. You do not directly dial to people. You ask people to join in. So I think Hangouts is most suitable for group use like meeting in company and friends gathering. One to one conferencing is better done on Skype.
(7) Photo Storage and Sharing like Flickr
Can Flickr be replaced by Google Plus + Picasa? Well, Google+ has the advantage of unlimited photo storage free of charge. Besides, users could choose instantly upload photos once they are taken with smartphone, and immediately share with friends. Picasa in this way serves as both a photo reservoir and a sharing platform. Flickr is weak in this aspect.
If you like sharing photos a lot, Google+ combined with Picasa would be a better choice. (And that’s why Google would change Picasa’s name to Google Photos?)
(8) Professional Social Network, LinkedIn
Despite the popularity of LinkedIn, I must say it sucks. LinkedIn seems not interested in expending its own features. And without a large pool of openly available APIs, no one is willing to create apps that work on LinkedIn.
On the other hand, Google+ has got sufficient features to kill LinkedIn. Create circles with people form the same company or school. Share gossips with only people from the same background. Use Sparks to collect trade / profession specific information and share. When Google opens APIs for Google+, I see no difficulty for a recruit function be added.
(9) Google Buzz
Google+ is like an improved Google Buzz. Although Google+ did not replace Google Buzz, I bet more and more people would shift to Google+. Buzz wrongly link email account to social networking. It took so long for Google to realize this and fix it with the new product Google+.
(10) Finally… Facebook
Hmm… People always compare Facebook with Google+. To me the latter seems to be created with the former’s weaknesses in mind. If you draw SWOT analyses of Facebook and Google+, you could find totally opposite results.
Could Google+ replace Facebook? I say it won’t, but I believe it can definitely win quite a lot loyal users from Facebook. Take me as an example, I dislike Facebook since I cannot easily select who to share each photo or status. In Google+ I can create different circles.
But there are things that Google+ cannot provide, such as games. We surely believe Google would release APIs soon, but before the time comes Facebook would be ready to fight for maintaining domination.
Follow me on Google+ ===> Peter Mugi @ Cloud High Club
Read more articles about Google+ with this tag ===> “googleplus“