From the very beginning, people who used the internet strived to connect around common interests. Connection method was limited by technological boundaries and ideas of people who had the power to change things to better.
At first they were “Bulletin Board Service” terminals, then various Yahoo and Google groups. Subsequent by development of modern social networks emerged Facebook Groups, Google+ communities, Linkedln groups etc.
In the last few days, I’ve spent hours studying and analyzing the youngest among them Google+ Communities, and It’s my subject of today’s review.
Google+ Communities Prompt and Appropriate Response?
Launched in December 2012, Google wants to make a step forward with its Google+ network. Google+ communities are formed around specific topics where people join or create a community that is “relevant to a product or service” as Ray Hitz said in his blog post.
Introduction of communities has solved stage fright problem, where people used profiles to argue about everything. Many people used private messaging to avoid wide-range debates. Now most of them are transferred to specific communities and profiles are more of personal use.
Sharing photos, videos, events, linking, mass messaging, inviting are to be found here too. Topics within Communities are organized into categories. For example, within the “Earth” Community, you can post in categories named: “Earth Pictures” “Pictures of Nature” “Pictures of Cities” and few others.
Code of conduct for every community is declared by Google (General Rules) and creators who appoint one or more moderators. It’s obvious that Google+ Communities were major and appropriate improvement of this social network for this year because they are the solution for discussion and communication related issues.
Google+ Communities in Comparison with Facebook Groups
Some people say that Google+ cloned Facebook groups, and I am among those who disagree. Features provided are indeed almost identical to its bitter rival. I can point a few differences.
- Sorting communities into groups is more convenient way of usage than traditional Facebook search.
- Discussions within communities are easily accessed from the left side of the screen. Facebook group owner can enable discussion boards that are usually not used by group members.
- Both provides sharing of photos, videos, events, linking. However, Facebook allows the same with file sharing and pools.
- Facebook Groups are with us for a few years while Google+ Communities are not
Business, Marketing and Communities
Google+ is a young social network. Communities are important puzzle for Google business, and they are quickly becoming an essential part of any business’s social media. I’ve already seen thousands of people joining “Android”, “Windows” communities which are created for promotion and other marketing services.
As far as I know Google AdWords is not available on Google+ and it gives a clean look. However, Google has yet to reveal its business strategy for Google+ and Communities. As for now we don’t have any more information.
Conclusion – Popularity Over Quality?
To be honest, using Facebook groups is like toying with a big mess of data with ugly aged interface. They are offering bulk of features and many people use them because of overall social network popularity.
Google+ along with this new feature is a wonderful “high tech” social network offering fast, simple and intuitive interface with thousands of users joining every day.
Google+ Communities solved some mayor flaws of Google+ social network. In few years I can see Google+ beating Facebook social network itself. Golden Era of Facebook is at its end Hail the new King.
Check out some of the Google+ Communities related to social media marketing.