Campus / News / November 2, 2011

Google+ sees slow start at Knox

While most students have an active account on Facebook, Google+ has seen some struggles in catching on in the Knox Community.

The new social networking site — which launched in June, went public in September and currently has around 40 million users — has only seen a few hundred Knox students join up.

“[I haven’t joined Google+] because a social networking site is about the social part, so as long as people stick to Facebook I don’t think I will be joining,” freshman Peter Buiting said. Buiting believes the move over to Google+ will not happen that fast compared to the quickness Facebook experienced when taking market share from Myspace.

Despite the minimal amount of users on the Knox campus, some have found reasons to change their focus.

“They’re the same cup of tea, but they have a different type of sugar,” senior Josh Wood said. This different type of sugar is what sells it for Wood and has convinced him to use Google+ more often than Facebook.

“I think privacy is a little more easily controlled on Google+; in that respect it’s a little more intuitive than Facebook,” Wood said.

Other features on Google+ have persuaded students to join the site. These features include Circles, Huddles and the simplicity of the site in comparison to the constantly active nature of Facebook.

“Facebook thinks that updating their interface is what users want,” Wood said. He believes that this has caused more issues on the site than improvements and gave him a good reason to move his focus to Google+.

“I can do everything adequately on the Internet without using it,” junior Christian Perez said. Perez believes that Google+ does not reach any different areas of social groups like LinkedIn does in comparison to Facebook.

While some students cite the service as too similar to Facebook as a reason to not join in, others see the amount of users at Knox as a major problem to its success on the campus.

“[Facebook] is something I know everybody checks instead of something that I’m not sure if people check,” senior Robin Mahung said.

For sophomore Matt Brongo, social media sites in general are not very useful for him.

“I don’t use Facebook that much anyway, but I wouldn’t mind trying it at some point,” Brongo said.

For many users, their activity on Google+ pales in comparison to their use of Facebook.

“I don’t really go on there really often,” senior Nick Sheridan said. A problem for him is the number of friends who have a profile as well as the similarities already present over on Facebook.

For even the most avid Google+ users, their Facebook account is still active due to the necessity to connect to friends who do not have Google+.

While some users of Facebook have hundreds of friends, most students interviewed who use Google+ said they have fewer than 25 Knox friends on the site.

John Williams

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