Google + (or Google Plus)

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    What does Google + Do?

    Google already does more than most people realize, but never before have they attempted to go head-to-head with the social network Facebook, as cited by many highly credible sources such as The New York Times.

    As you likely know, it was launched last summer – June 28, 2011 as a ‘field test’, by invitation only. On September 20, it was available to anyone over 18 years of age, no invitation needed.

    Google + Features

    Early adopters have been mostly male (over 71%) with the dominant age bracket between the ages of 25-34 (35%). So, the features have been designed to appeal to this important demographic:

    • ‘Circles’ – Users may organize their contacts into groups for sharing across various Google products and services. Replacing the typical ‘friends’ lists in social networking, Circles are organized through a drag and drop interface.
    • ‘Hangouts’ – Want to ‘hangout’ with 10 buddies for a video chat? Try it with mobile, instant webcasts, or share documents, a scratchpad, and your screen.
    • ‘Messenger’ – Share instant messages and photos within your circle.
    • ‘Instant Upload’ – For use on Android mobile devices, you can store photos or videos in a private album for sharing later.
    • ‘Sparks’ – Helps to keep you up-to-date on topics of interest. It’s a front-end to Google Search (but of course), and ‘featured interests’ reveal topics of interest globally.
    • ‘Stream’ – Like Facebook’s Wall, you can enter a status update, or share photos and videos to your Circle.
    • ‘Games’ – Social games located under a separate games tab.

    Google Plus Adoption

    Google Plus has enjoyed extremely high growth rates in the U.S. and European countries.

    It boasted 25 million unique visitors just four weeks after operational launch. And in just one year, it is projected to have 22% of all adults in the U.S.

    Google + Pages

    With this rate of adoption, with a target market that is generally hard to capture, you’ll be interested to know that Google + Pages has been designed for businesses to connect with fans in a manner similar to Facebook Pages. Launched November 7, 2011, businesses can start to share their messages with others through corporate accounts. Google Plus Pages is anticipated to be an important part of a company’s online marketing strategy. More about that in a subsequent post.

    Has Google + helped you or your company yet? If so, please share!

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Ms. Chapman’s new book has a name change! The Net-Powered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide will be available very soon. With offices in Nashville Tennessee, but working virtually with international clients, Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. As a Founder of iBrand Masters, a social media consulting firm, Lisa Chapman helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @ LisaChapman.com