Good things come to those who wait, right? Of course, some of us will be waiting longer than others .. more on that later.
Google has been trying very hard to provide a reasonable alternative to Facebook, and it appears that Google Plus might just be the platform.
Charlie Sorrel was writing in the Gadget Lab at Wired.com and offered his opinion on Google’s new adventure in social networking; “It has been said that the biggest feature of Google Plus is that it’s not Facebook. However, there’s another feature that may be of interest to all you Gadget Lab photo nerds out there: the photo integration. It turns out that G+ is a pretty sweet way to manage and view your shared photos.”
It’s obvious why Google is likely to do well with a platform that seems to cater to image sharing. The photo gallery is one of Facebook’s most widely used features, so if Google can create a better photo gallery, they’ll get a better response from the legions of Facebook faithful.
What isn’t obvious, though, is why Google chose such a restrictive method for launching their new platform.
Google Plus is available by invitation only, and while it is very smartphone friendly, the only smartphone with the appropriate app is Google’s Android. Consequently, if you have the right invitation and the right phone, you can see for yourself how incredibly cool the new Google Plus is. If not, you’ll just have to wait for the actual launch like the rest of us. Yes, I said “us”… more on that later.
For now, let’s talk about four ways that Google has improved the art of photo sharing.
Improvement #1; Google Plus Offers More Convenient Image Sharing
There are several ways in which Google has made image sharing more convenient, but perhaps the most obvious one is the way in which you can load your photos. You click the photo, and it loads. Really. No configuring, toggling, cropping or translating.
Depending on your current hardware/software combination, this could only translate into one or two less keystrokes than your current process, but it could make a difference.
Imagine the number of keystrokes you could save the next time you upload someone’s wedding photos!
Improvement #2; Google Plus Offers Better Looking Image Sharing
Facebook never advertised itself as a showcase for photography buffs; Flickr and 500px were designed for that. However, Google Plus can load higher resolution photos, offers larger, more detailed thumbnails and provides a very nice-looking lightbox background.
The result is a professional-looking gallery for snapshots as well as a proper venue for high speed, high resolution or infrared photography.
Improvement #3; Google Plus Offers Immediate Image Sharing (From The Right Phone)
It’s now later, so I get to talk about “us” who will be waiting slightly longer than “they” will. If you happen to have an Android, you will be pleased to know that you can load photos directly from your phone onto the Google Plus website.
My friend Vinny has an Android, and he uploaded some great 4th of July fireworks photos onto his Google Plus gallery before he even got home. He also had the option of loading the pictures into a private album, giving him the option of deciding later on who actually needs to see them. My son Justin also has an Android, and is really having a great time with both the phone and the new website.
I, on the other hand, am an iPhone owner. Like many of you, I can only enjoy the full benefits of Google Plus from an actual computer. Being surrounded by happy Android owners, however, has helped me to make one certain decision; my next phone will be an Android. I’m tired of being left out.
Improvement #4: Google Plus Offers Better Organized Image Sharing
Once your photos are loaded and properly displayed, it’s time to share them, and this is where Google Plus really shines. Facebook offers you two options; share with your friends, or share with everybody.
Life isn’t like that, though.
Some of your friends really want to see your son’s graduation photos. That same group of friends, however, might not really care what your new rain garden looks like. And,
Naturally, only select friends need to see the “before” and “after” photos from your latest trip to the tattoo parlor.
Rather than offering you the option of showing the world or showing all 172 of your closest friends, Google offers you the option of categorizing your 172 friends into distinct circles. You’ll be able to choose which circles you share images and other information with, which makes a lot more sense.
So, What Does The Future Look Like for Facebook?
That’s up to Facebook.
David Seaman from BusinessInsider.com explains it simply; Google Plus “… will be a huge success, and Facebook is in trouble – although by no means obsolete.”
It’s unlikely that Google Plus will completely replace Facebook, and perhaps Facebook doesn’t need to be replaced.
What is likely, though, is that Google will give people who use phone cameras, movie cameras and digital infrared cameras a viable alternative to their current image sharing options. Ideally, Facebook will respond by improving their own site, and then Google will in turn raise the bar with more upgrades or innovations.
There’s no way to know for sure who will ultimately “win” the social networking wars, but I do feel certain of one thing. It’s going to be quite a show.
Feel free to offer your opinions. I always enjoy them.
About the Author:
Internet pioneer James Martell discovered the rewarding world of affiliate marketing in 1999 and has been mentoring other Internet entrepreneurs for the last decade. In 2003, James launched Affiliate Buzz, a highly popular affiliate marketing podcast which is still running today.