Google + You = What?

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I only recently succumbed to the idea that social media isn't all bad, and that the electronic world is the future of the publishing industry. I’m no longer that guy who refuses to jump on digital bandwagons and yells about rescuing print from death. I work for online magazines. I’m a Facebooker. I’m a Twitterer (Tweeter?). I’m as LinkedIn as I can get.

For the record, I deleted my Myspace a while ago.

Everyone has heard the latest buzz involving Google (not to be confused with Google Buzz, a failed endeavor): Google+ is gradually becoming a hotspot for social media lovers. The company’s execs apparently want to “make sharing online more like sharing in real life,” aka take the focus away from Facebook.

You can choose what you want to share with which people (“Circles”), engage in face-to-face chats (“Hangouts”), “Instant[ly] Upload” videos and photos from your phone, get suggested links based on your interests (“Sparks”) and text multiple people from your smartphone in group chat form (“Huddle”).

Google+ is currently in what they call a “field trial period,” meaning that you need someone to send you an invitation in order to sign up. This is so the developers can work out the kinks in the project. Every couple of days, an error message might say they’re at “maximum capacity,” which I believe means, “We want you to really want this, so we’re going to leave you hanging for one more day.”

I’m not sure if I want a Google+ account, and it’s not just because I haven’t received an invite yet. Like many college students, I spend hours distracted by social media, and the last thing I need to do is add timber to that fire. But Google+ might be different. It might be something social media needs right now—something more mature and user friendly that could potentially take the place of other sites.

Whether or not I’m persuaded, Google+ is definitely going to get even more popular. Their marketing has been highly successful—even those who haven’t signed up yet are curious, and once all of their friends are on the platform, they’ll probably join, too. Google+ seems promising, but something tells me Mark Zuckerberg is already planning his next move.

Senior > English & Creative Writing > Fordham University

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