Almost everyone loves social networking, and it seems a new social network bursts onto the technology scene every day. Google is no exception. The search engine’s attempts to create its own social network started with Google+ in 2011. At the time, Google+ was designed to compete with Facebook. However, its design, which attempted to connect people through “circles,” wasn’t received well.
Now, Google+ is revamping the “circles” design with Reddit-like communities. These communities seek to connect people with particular interests, such as books or astronomy. Additionally, users are able to set up collections of curated posts that speak to their interests. For instance, a teacher who uses Google+ might have collections of posts related to Common Core, popular grade-level literature, or new techniques for teaching mathematics. Fellow users could see and comment on these posts, allowing the teacher to network and get new ideas for the classroom.
Not all communities are based around occupational networking, though. Thanks to the Google+ redesign, users can log into networks to discuss fun activities such as their favorite computer games. Players of games like Ingress can use the new network to plan face-to-face, game-centered events. This allows all the speed and convenience of a social network while keeping users from feeling isolated.
Additionally, Google+’s new design can handle much larger amounts of content than other social networks. On Facebook or Twitter, for example, it is often difficult to share content with large groups of friends. Users must customize posts, requiring them to weed through long friend lists and taking up valuable time.
Google+ allows users to share content much more quickly. In addition, content can be shared from group to group. If a user is part of a book group and an exercise group, he or she could share content about the latest diet book without customizing posts or setting up “secret” or “closed” groups.
The Google+ redesign is being rolled out gradually. It now uses cloud-based photo editing that previously belonged to Google Photos, and gave its chat room, Hangout, its own website.