Local Professionals analyze Google + efficiency

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After months of testing, Google has opened Google + to the public and continues to capture the attention of the digital masses.

The company has had its foot in the social media door for a while with Google Buzz and Wave. Both applications failed to grab the people’s attention, but Google has persisted. According to WTAMU assistant professor Dr. Jeffry Babb, Google is not discouraged when faced with challenges.“Google is an experimental, adventurous company,” Dr. Babb said. “They are not afraid of making mistakes.”

According to the Google + website, Google + has reached over 50 million members in 88 days as opposed to Facebook’s 1,325 days or Twitter’s 1,096 days. However, compared to Facebook’s total of over 800 million users, Google + still has work to do. Despite the numbers, Denai Vaughn “the Networking Queen”, a networking specialist and public speaker on online and offline opportunities for businesses, said that Google has what it takes to challenge Facebook.

“Google and Facebook are filled with intellectual employees,” Vaughn said. “This is going to push both companies to be competitive.”

Eric Spellmann, owner and president of Spellmann & Associates, an Amarillo company that specializes in social media management, has a less conservative opinion of Google +.

“Google + is better than Facebook,” Spellmann said.

As a social website, Google + has the features that have become standards for such sites such as the ability to post photos, blog posts, checking statuses of friends and family and so on. Vaughn and Spellmann point to a few aspects of Google + that help it stand out and show potential. One was Google +’s circles, which allows users to make certain content on their profile available only to certain people on their contacts list. Dr. Babb also said that this feature could be helpful to a professional like himself.

“It’s just good to be able to keep friends and business separate,” Dr. Babb said.

Facebook has a similar feature called “Smartlists”, but Spellmann said it is not as simple to move contacts in and out of “Smartlists” as it is on Google +’s circles. Another prominent feature to Spellman and Vaughn was “Hangouts”, which allows Google + users to join in a live chat with their contacts on computers or smart phones quickly and easily. Even more features have been announced by Google as the company plans to connect Google + in useful ways to more of its services like the Android systems and Gmail.

“Google has learned a lot from what’s wrong with Facebook, so get ready,” Spellmann said.

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