G+ vs. t

When I first joined Google+, the first thing I thought was, “Tumblr.”

Similarities

Both social media sites are completely focused on providing its users a commonplace for sharing (primarily) high quality visual posts amongst one another. Content is visible on the homepage after login and has a caption underneath describing the posts. The user is able to follow others in order to receive post updates. While the process is different between the two platforms, users are able to ‘follow’ a certain subject, so that you can stay updated with all posts regarding the topic.

Following a subject

On tumblr, you must input a keyword for the topic you want to follow in the search bar, such as “batman” for batman posts. By searching the keyword, you are redirected to results regarding it, like profiles with the keyword in their names, and posts that have the keyword in their ‘tags’ (basically a hashtag). The tag is actually the thing you will be following, and you do so simply by pressing the “follow” button that shows up in the search bar after the search.

On Google+, all you have to do is click on “collections” and you are redirected to a page with numerous options of topics for the user to choose from. From there just click follow to one of the collections. For specific results, you could also do a search for a keyword regarding an interest, in which you will see results similar to those of tumblr. ~I feel like this was a possible advantage that Google+ could have taken, but didn’t. Since they are already under the “Collections” tab, I feel like the results from the search should only be of collections rather than results for all tabs~

Differences

I actually have been a semi-long time user of Tumblr (since 2012), so I know much more about it than Google+. On Tumblr, I feel like the targets are different even though both platforms are focusing on the same thing in creating visually appealing communities. According to Statista, Google Plus’s largest user age range being 25-34 (24.1%), with 35-44 coming in second with 22.6%. Tumblr’s largest user age range was between 18-24 (25.7) with 25-34 coming in second (23.9%) (I couldn’t get a graphic because I had to become a member). I believe that Google+ is working well with an older demographic because of the marketing benefits that Google+ gives a business. Tumblr appeals to a younger audience because they have been trying to appeal more to creativity.

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Statista
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unPinterested

Pinterest is another competitor to Google+. Pinterest is a site that is focused on visual content that allows users to find pictures regarding a specific topic. I mean really… the two are almost identical!

If you don’t know what Pinterest is, here is a quick video to introduce you:

Similarities

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  • Appearance wise the Pinterest and Google+ homepage theme consists of columns of pictures that are assorted in a grid-like pattern.
  • The homepage contains content from predefined interests and content from the accounts and topics you decide to follow.
  • Both platforms allow you to follow others that are like you in order to create a sense of community.
    • Following others makes their content and updates appear in your home feed, so you can stay up to date with them and the content you followed them for. This is because you are feeding both platforms information on what your interests are, and they want to post content to your feed that you like.
    • Both sites allow you to do this, but Pinterest requires the user to go to their profile first to find your current interests and to follow more.
    • Google+’s version is called “collections” and is always viewable and accessible through the sidebar.

Users can also post their own content through a post icon on the bottom right hand corner.

Differences

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What I meant by predefined interests is the information that social media platforms collect from its users (either directly or indirectly) that relate to their interests. Pinterest asks you what your interests are directly. They do this by asking what topics do you enjoy amongst a list of options (such as science, art, nature, etc.) during your initial account creation. Content from this information is then posted onto your homepage feed regularly. Google+, however, gathers this information through its  ‘Communities’ you decide to follow on your own. This requires a bit of exploring by the user but provides more benefits to the user, because these functions connect users with others more easily.

Google+ has a community function, which are groups created on a specific subject. Anyone can create a Google+ community around any subject matter of their choosing to engage other users on the network with an interest in that subject. Following a community makes the user a ‘member’ or ‘subscriber’ of sorts in the topic’s community, giving them the ability to find others like yourself As most social media sites do, you get updates on the activity of whom you follow as well.

In my opinion…

Pinterest is a lot neater and appealing to look at, but it is a little confusing when compared to the user-friendly Google+ which has a sidebar that is always in view.

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