Giving Google+ Another Shot
As an Android user, it almost seems that Google does everything it can to force Google+ down your throat. Apps are automatically included into builds of its OS, and every picture that you take with your device can, potentially, be automatically uploaded to Google+ and shared with any number of people with whom you choose to share. Intrusions like that are enough to drive people away from the service without even giving it a second thought. It's that case, it would seem, that happened more often than not.
When Google+ originally debuted, I was one of the early adopters. I scraped and scrounged to get an invite, and when it finally showed up in my inbox, I was standing at the front door, heralding in the reign of a new king to social media. Unfortunately, that reign was short-lived, even in my own box of social media tools. It didn't have the user base of a Facebook, and seemed to lack the conversations of Twitter. Google+, it would seem, was destined to follow in the footsteps of MySpace, Friendster and all of the rest of the failed or dead social media outlets.
But then something happened. I'm not quite sure what it was, but slowly Google began to add features (or maybe they just revealed themselves to me and were there all along) that seemed appealing. In fact, Google+ seemed to mold itself into a niche that wasn't quite fulfilled by Twitter, and was over-saturated by Facebook. Google+, it would seem, was slowly becoming the social media hub for the unlikeliest (in my opinion) markets: Google+ was becoming THE social media spot for Photographers.
With many photographers sticking to their guns, Google+ improved their display methods for albums, increased the functionality of hangouts, and expanded the features that would appeal to a market that wasn't quite conquered by existing social media tools.
It's because of these things, then, that I've recently taken a turn back toward using Google+. I think I made mistakes in my early foray into Google+, trying to turn it into the next Facebook and Twitter. Instead, by limiting my Circles, utilizing the photo collection and sharing tools, and immersing myself into some insightful and intelligent conversations, I've begun to see that Google+ won't ever replace Facebook or Twitter, but will instead become another integral tool in the future of photography.
If you'd like to add me to one of your circles, or even start a discussion with me on Google+, feel free to visit my profile, or comment on this post.