Have you heard about Google+ Communities? Yeah… that’s a thing now. If this sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps you’re thinking about Google Groups, which is basically a forum that supports discussion groups based on common interests. If Communities is reminding you of a Facebook service, that would be Facebook Groups.
Confused yet? Instead of arguing about who started what and who is copying whom, let’s take a look a quick look at these new Communities:
What is it?
“Gather together“, “Have rich conversations“, and “Explore your interests“. No, these aren’t requirements of “The Finer Things Club”, but rather a brief description of what Communities have to offer. In short, 1) find things that interest you, 2) join, 3) invite others and 4) contribute away.
What do you do?
You can easily find, categorize and you can even participate in topics that you’re interested via Hangouts. If you’re lucky enough to find a free topic, you can even create and moderate your own Community. Remember, this isn’t your personal/business page or a place to promote yourself. I’m assuming that Communities were meant for personal social networking and actual discussions, not sales pitches.
Are you going to participate and do you need to?
If you’re an active Google + user, Communities might be the next best thing you’re looking for. Since so many people are comparing Communities to Facebook Groups, which I’ve seen used on a more personal and private level, we’ll just see what Google has in store. Will the content be publicly indexed like Google Groups or will it have the option to be more on more of a lock down like Facebook Groups?
I highly doubt Google Communities will be as mainstream as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so depending on your consumer base, personal interest and resources, Communities might now be helpful for your business. On the other hand, if you’re in the business of mixing, mingling, learning different things and potentially opening new doorways, Communities might come handy.
Do you plan on participating in Google Communities? Check out these related articles and let us know:
– Google Communities Might Best Facebook Groups, But How Long Before We Rebel?
– Google launches Google+ Communities, competitor to Facebook Groups
– Google+ Communities: Good for Users, Marketers, and Google
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.