With millions of people anxiously awaiting for that coveted invite to get into Google's new social network, we wanted to give you a preview and let you decide if Google+ is a good fit for you.
First off, if you're wondering why in the world would anyone want to have to worry about updating their status on yet another social media site, let me begin by saying that this one is different. With features similar to Twitter and Facebook, Google+ takes a different approach. You can update your status, but more so Google+ allows you to select audience you want to see that update. By allowing you to categorize your network by "Circles", you can choose what group of people see what you post. For example, let's say you run a small business. You have your family and friends on Google+, but you also have clients and potential customers in your network as well. Rather than letting everyone in your network see your latest product or service ad posted on Google+, you can choose to only have your clients and future clients see the post. On the other hand, you may only want your family and friends to see your latest vacation photos. With Circles, you decide who gets to see what by simply dragging your contacts and dropping them into the appropriate circle.
Much like Facebook, Google+ has profiles with photos and videos. But a feature unlike anything currently out there is Hangouts. Similar to Skype or FaceTime, Hangouts are a way to video conference with people in your network. Unlike Skype and FaceTime, Hangouts allow anyone in your Circles to join in the video chat. Literally, you just start a Hangout, choose individual users to join, open it to a particular Circle, or make it public for anyone to join in the video conference. Hangouts allow up to ten people at a time, and can be a great way to catch up with friends, say hello to family, or video conference with coworkers. Whichever reason you choose to use Hangouts, you'll see it's a pretty cool feature unlike anything out there. Also as a technical guy, I'm really impressed with the video and audio quality in Google+ Hangouts.
My overall impression is that the early adopters on Google+ seem to be working on keeping the site more focused on relevant information and networking, rather than personal or chatty. It's refreshing to have a site where there seems to be less noise and more sound. It's still a little early, and I'm sure that eventually the spammers will have their try at infiltrating the site. Currently, Google will not allow profiles for businesses or companies, only individuals. But so far, I think Google+ has great potential.