Hey, USF Students! You may have already begun to notice that cute little “+1″ icon near your favorite website’s other social media icons. Well, that +1 is adding up to be big competition for Facebook. This new social networking service, provided by Google, is still in it’s testing phase. In fact, the demand has grown so much just today, that Google has temporarily shut it down, after reporting an “insane demand”. I can’t help but feel even more intrigued with it’s exclusivity, kind of like the line into a club, “one out, one in”. Google is actually having to make room for additional accounts for those of us waiting in line (If only Czar felt the same).
Google+ applications are extremely user friendly and visually appealing with it’s design. I have no doubt everyone will be excited about Circles, Hangouts, and Sparks.
Circles is exactly what it sounds like, allowing you to group your friends into circles; “music buddies”, “epic bros”, “skatepark buddies”, “sorority sisters”, whatever personalized groups you can think of, that helps you stay organized so you share just the right thing with the right person. Circles also allows you to share and upload photos easily within your circles.
Hangouts is my second most favorite featured app. Forget about ever having to reserve a group study room at the library. Say good-bye to those homesick feelings you get, and start a hangout! Hangouts is a live video chat, putting you in the same room with up to 10 friends at once; pop in and out when you want. You can easily coordinate plans, group projects, or just catch up…no matter where you are. (If you already have Gmail you even have an option to text chat.)
Sparks is another awesome application! “Get stuff you’re into streamed to you automatically, so when you’re free, there’s always something cool to watch, read or share.” This application is like StumbleUpon and Pandora’s love child. You are able to specify what you like and don’t like to receive more of what you want, and it links to other great information, allowing you to share your findings with your circles.
With apps like Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and many others, Google+ has officially set a new bar for social media. Google+ includes a few apps that closely resemble other social media applications, such as +1, much like a “Like” for Facebook users or a “follow” for tweeters. For all of you who have used poor social media grammar, I have included a (Bulls)Guide for how to use “+1″. See Rocky run. See Rocky +1. See Rocky’s +1. That’s right, its a noun and verb!
To find out more about Google+, and it’s latest technology, visit Google+