Google+ is my favorite social network. It combines the best of LinkedIn and Facebook with an element of Twitter with very little of the clutter and advertising. I can use Google+ to keep up with industry trends as easily as my loved ones. It's easy to switch between different views. Google+ provides me an elegant blend of information, utility and communications (through Hangouts, although Google+ and Hangouts are having their services separated) and of course, social interaction.
Let me elaborate. Google+ allows me to control who I see and interact with using Circles. I have numerous circles of different categories. I've the usual Family, Friends circles to keep loved ones, but I also have one called “Acquaintances” and another called “Following,” which tend to be buckets for putting people on a temporary basis. And I also use circles for businesses or employees of businesses whom I don't know socially.
There's more: I can put names into more than one circle. This can be perfect for somebody I know personally but also follow him or her for their business interests or as an information mine. Circles are important because I can elect to share certain information with certain circles and it's completely configurable.
Google+ also includes a built-in photo backup facility on Windows, Mac, Android and iOS platforms that can automatically store your photographs in either a low quality but unlimited storage, or full quality and storage is connected to your Google Drive. You can elect to have Google apply some clever features on your photographs, including converting a range into an animated GIF, in a service Called Auto Awesome. If you've not tried this, do so; Google can create some clever little ditties.
The application has moved on in leaps and bounds, too. The current application looks set for further improvement after Google's announcement to buy small, start-up business, Polar and integrate the team into the Google+ directorate. Polar's technology is used to poll mobile device users for their opinions and was started around two years ago, but don't go thinking that we'll be seeing Polar's polls appearing in Google+ any time soon. No: this move is more about buying into the brains behind Polar. You see, Polar was founded by mobile design expert Luke Wroblewski, known for his book Mobile First, which argues that websites and applications should be designed for smartphones and tablets before desktop and web based interfaces.
What's your favourite social network and how do you use it? Hit us up in the comments below. How do you drive viewers to your social feed?