Posted July 29, 2011 7:04 am by with 5 comments

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There is a lot of information flying around about Google+ with regard to what it does and doesn’t do, how you should use, how to use it, do you even know you are using it etc, etc.

Apparently Google is trying to get out in front of this information as much as they can and have added a Google+ Help Center to the service. You simply go to the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Plus page and you will be taken here.

Mashable describes the effort as follows:

The “What’s new in Google+” section is essentially a list of release notes for the Google+ Project. The updates are smaller than Google’s traditional blog posts, but longer than most of its Help Center pages. It’s a centralized location for finding out what new features Google has added to its social network.

As Google is prone to these days they have included plenty of videos to help users get a better understanding of the service. Here is an introduction from the community manager for Google+, Natalie Villalobos.

If Google wants this “project” to succeed they will need to continue to differentiate themselves from Facebook with regard to transparency and ease of use. While this technique seems fine in the early stage with so many early adopters being very tech savvy, it will be critical that a full public launch to those with less understanding will be as dirt simple as possible.

Honestly, I am not sure that Google is capable of doing anything simply enough for the general population but they have surprised folks in many ways as of late so maybe they have some more up their sleeves?

  • I’ve been on G+ since the beginning (or close to it). I love it because the engagement is so high and I’m meeting and learning a lot about folks in my area – social media. I’ve heard a lot of comments from “regular folks” who hate G+ and a large number of the 20-30 million users have never crafted a post (or even filled out their profile).

    I’d hate to predict what these facts mean for Google+ as it rolls out to the public — this weekend. But, remember when Facebook came out it had far fewer features and was less user friendly. My guess is G+ will do just fine.

    Angela Hausman, PhD

  • I have to agree that Google+ should be here to stay. It seems much easier than other social media platforms. Once it is more public and thus more can get involved, it should be tops in social media.

  • James

    Thanks for this Frank, I didn’t know they had released this Help Centre.

    I have to say that I’m surprised you think Google+ needs to differentiate. Facebook is so good that Google+ has actually copied quite a lot of it! It’s Circles and ‘Nearby’ features do differentiate so maybe that’s what you meant and this is a winner I think.

    I think Google have done something simple for the general public before now (i.e. their search engine…it’s a simple as it gets!) but they will drive the traffic through pure power. The power of local business reviews (3rd party reviews have been pulled) and through +1’s which you will find large brands promoting in mainstream TV advertising soon. That’s my two penny’s worth anyway! :o)

    • @James Fortunately your two penny’s worth is never discounted here at MP!

      The problem Google+ will face is that the bar that is what is acceptable out of the gates is much higher than when Facebook first started. As a result, Google will have to be more than a copy cat of Facebook or they will be dismissed out of hand.

      It is going to take some serious chops to convince the general public that they should uproot their Facebook efforts and move to Google+ or even share time between the two. Funny thing about social media is that as more options come on board the slices of the pie are getting smaller because people can only manage so much data.

      Anyway, more than my two cents worth in addition to yours! Thanks for checking in.

  • “as dirt simple as possible”

    I think that is exactly right. Right now, Google+ is full of marketers and tech geeks. We don’t mind the quirks and kinks as much. But what happens when it goes fully live? If you want the average user to switch from Facebook to Google+, it has to be foolproof. And we all know there are some good fools online…