For iPhone and Android smartphone users looking to streamline their social media use, Google+ may provide that time saving bridge for which you’ve been looking. Available for Android system smartphones as well as iPhones (while there is still not an iPad app for G+, you can load the iPhone app on the iPad), this newcomer to the social media market has the potential to simplify many of the functions performed by multiple social networking sites.
Already compared to Facebook, Google+ has features that can serve the same functions as those offered by Twitter and Linkedin. G+ allows account holders, dignifiedly called People, to post updates, referred to as streams, with one important difference from the dominant social network.
Google’s latest, most concerted social media site, no doubt having thoughtfully studied Facebook, allows users to add their People to categorized Circles, with contacts included in multiple circles if the user desires. Among other benefits, this differentiated grouping of recipients allows for posts about the bachelorette party to be separate (and un-viewable), from those of the entire wedding party.
Though speculative, the Circles concept suggests that Google may have had an eye on more than FB’s functions. With the ability to group professional networking contacts in a specific circle or designated set of circles, Google+ has the ability to focus traffic that would be routinely passed along on Linkedin, and to a lesser degree, Twitter without having to switch among apps. For a sales professional or job seeker with a smartphone, this advantage would augment their social media component of work or the pursuit thereof, while still allowing the user to post content on specific sites when time and circumstances permit. Armed also with a laptop, the Google+ app could effectively reduce a user’s workload while organizing content by intended recipients.
Importing your people
Importing recipients from other services is accomplished by a range of effort depending upon the site. Contact from Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook, and as you’d expect, Google accounts, is relatively straightforward, while Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin contacts, if not already in other address books, can be imported by creating either CSV or VCard files and then uploading them into G+; segregation into Circles would be accomplished manually, but only has to be done once.
Finally, Google+ has attracted a demographic that is more consistent with users of smartphones and Linkedin account holders than it is with Facebook. Older, better educated and more closely tied to the high tech, management level and engineering occupations than the average FB user, Google’s initial adopters are likely to share a different network of on-line associates than a site famous for keeping in touch with class reunion partners (with school having started, Google’s newest wave of dominant users is college students).
Just because, to use the phrase, “there’s an app for that,” doesn’t mean productivity is improved commensurate to the number of apps you have. Smartphone users who understand this and who also rely upon their network contacts may find that streamlining the number of social media activities makes having a device, well, smart.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lindsey Ramsey is a writer and former teacher. She lives in Indianapolis with her two Miniature Poodles. She volunteers at local museums and writes on behalf of online degree.