Google+, the search engine giant’s own social platform has just turned one.  Google considers Google+ complimentary to all of their web-based products, not a standalone service.

The social networking community or “social layer,” as Google has coined the product was launched June 28, 2011.

Winning Features include:

  • The cloud based system, called Circles, allows for easier organization of social groups.
  • Video chat called, “Hangouts.”
  • “Authorship” is a Google Search feature that relies on Google+ accounts to help tie Google+ profiles to content that users publish on third-party websites.
  • More defined niche communities.
  • “Ripples,” an analytics program that allows users to see how Google+ posts have spread across the web.

Over the past year Google has had its share of wins and losses.  Google claims that because of Circles, and private sharing, their numbers are shown to be lower than its true representation.  Currently, they have 250 million users.

Google Misses

One of the key features missing from Google+ is a way for businesses and brands to promote. Some of the other obstacles that Google+ is facing is merging Google App users with the system, and allowing more interaction via API’s, with websites and third party access.

Future Features

Events,” will offer an attractive and easy way to plan events through invitations, which can be integrated with Google calendar. Once an invitation is tagged RSVP, it will be automatically added to the recipient’s calendar. During events a “Party Mode” can be activated on Android devices, with pictures automatically photo-streamed, and viewed as a slide show in real time. After the event, the pictures can be centrally collected, and displayed in chronological order.

Google+ is a promising product and Google is 100% committed to the usability and innovation of their service. Despite its obstacles it could be the one-stop platform for social media, while tying in Google’s other products, for the best web experience available.