It’s been a big day over on Google Plus. As I’ve written previously, I strongly recommend changing the way we view Google Plus. It’s so much more than many give it credit for. But today, Google took things to new heights with the release of Google Plus Communities and the release of Snapseed for Android.
What are Google Plus Communities?
Google Plus Communities is a place for those with similar interests (sports, photography, cooking, travel, etc.) to come together to share information with one another about that interest. It’s different from a Google Plus Page as Community Pages can be open or closed and are tightly focused around that one specific topic. Here’s a brief video explaining the concept:
I’ve long advocated to clients the need to create or subscribe to Twitter lists. Lists on Twitter is a great way to group people that typically talk about a certain topic so you can zero in on what they are saying. For instance, I have a Twitter list focused on search engine optimization thought leaders. It’s great and I glean a lot of information form it. But one of the weaknesses of Twitter lists is that sometime those individuals go off topic and start talking about other things that aren’t related to SEO. So my Twitter list becomes a little less useful. From what I’ve seen thus far with Google Plus Communities, they’ve taken care of that problem all together. As a member of the community page, I can choose what I want to post out to that page (meaning, I can stay on-topic) and I get to connect with others interested in that topic as well. Google Plus Communities are rolling out starting today and I’d expect to see this pick up a lot of steam quickly.
What is Snapseed for Android?
A few months ago, Google got in on the photo taking/sharing app craze with its acquisition of Snapseed, a photo taking/editing/sharing app build by Nik software. The photo craze picked up steam with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram for $1 Billion earlier this year and, presumably, Google didn’t want to be left behind. I was excited when Google announced the acquisition of Snapseed because I like it when consumers have a lot of choices. But I really liked what I saw today when I downloaded Snapseed for my Android-based phone. In addition to the editing functions normally found in a tool like Instagram, Snapseed goes much further to give the user greater editing functions to customize the photo. A good way to think of it: Instagram is like Microsoft Paint whereas Snapseed is like Photoshop. The wealth of options available in Snapseed are incredible. My only concern is that options sometimes equal complexity, which could cause confusion with some users. Regardless, I’m already a fan of Snapseed and as you can see by the photo below that I edited using the tool the results are pretty good (of course, the sunrise was pretty stunning in its own right!)