Last week Google+ Communities were launched as a replacement for Google Groups. Members of Google+ can set up Communities around their interests and hobbies. They’re Google’s equivalent of Facebook’s Groups and could be an alternative for Facebook’s Pages too.
But with Facebook Groups doing a good job – read my guide here – do we really need them? Google have put some effort into the design and features and Communities integrate nicely with the overall Google experience. As well as offering equivalent functionality to Facebook Groups, Communities have several unique features and a number of advantages:
- Discover Communities feature
- Invitation of several people at once using Circles
- Set up of Google Hangouts
- Adding text to photos
- Better and easier search
- Set up of categories within the Community
- Posting from Google+ Page to Community
- Sharing with your Community from +1 button
Both Facebook Groups and Google+ Communities can be public or private. If a Community is public, posts will also be broadcast into the member’s stream giving extra exposure to the Community and its content.
One disadvantage of both Google+ Communities and Facebook Groups is the inability to switch off invites. Like me, you’ve probably had a number of invites to Communities over the last few days. It would be helpful to have an option to switch these off or better still just to receive suggestions at a frequency of one’s choosing.
Have you joined any Google+ Communities or will you be setting one up? Let me know in the comments below.