Man, I love this news. Google+ has replaced Twitter as the world’s number 2 social network, based on the amount of active users. As of the fourth quarter of 2012, G+ has accumulated 343 million active users. This is still quite a bit less than Facebook’s 693 million active users, but what’s significant is the sheer growth Google Plus has made in the past year and a half. It’s easy to forget Google only launched their social network at the end of June, 2011.
It seems like at least once every day I am forced to explain to someone why I don’t use Facebook and instead, prefer using Google+. To me, it just offers a more mature, interesting, and educational experience. It is up to the user how they want to use it. If I’m in a social mood, I can check out what my friends or coworkers are up to. If not, I can use the explore feature to see what’s trending around the web. I can’t tell you how many fascinating articles, videos, and news stories I’ve come across as a result of using G+.
Another reason why I’m a big Google+ supporter is that to me, it integrates really well with all my other Google services. This just makes it really easy to share my Google docs and Blogger posts with my students (yes, I’m a teacher by day). Are all of my coworkers on Facebook? I have no idea. I mean, if I wanted to add them to my Facebook account, I suppose I would have to search for each of them individually. Because we are on a school-wide Google Apps account, I can share things with them on G+ pretty easily. For example, If I want to invite them to a staff event, it’s a pretty seamless process as my email contacts are already on Google Plus.
Fourth paragraph and I haven’t even mentioned Google+ Hangouts. My students absolutely love doing their homework now, as in our Google Apps classroom, when they go home, they start a hangout with three or four others and work on the document together. When they get off topic, they can show each other Youtube videos or share photos with each other. They often come to my class in the morning laughing about what they got up to during their hangouts the night before. For a teacher, Facebook simply doesn’t offer the educational tools available on Google Plus.
As such, as more and more people embrace Android and Chrome OS, I can only imagine that Google Plus will eventually overtake Facebook as the world’s king of social networks. In my mind, there’s way more potential for social networks than simply sharing photos or chatting with friends, which is how I see most people using Facebook. Google+ has embraced this potential and offers it to its users now, promising even greater things to come down the road.