Move over Facebook, here comes Google+. The brand new social media site is already boasting more than 18 million users since its launch date earlier this month. Since college students were the first to make Facebook the greatest online hot spot ever, it’s no surprise that many of the new users of Google+ are college students, too. But can this new platform offer something for students that its predecessor cannot? Maybe less is more. Google+ does seem to lack a few things that Facebook has, those being ads and games.
Chad Miller, a Columbia University alumnus who utilizes social media in both his academic and extracurricular pursuit, says Google+ might find its home in the classroom. “A professor can create a Circle composed of his/her students. Within five minutes, everyone can be sharing links, posting pictures, embedding videos...all related to the topic at hand. You simply drag items into your status box, and they are ready to be shared.”
The Hangout feature in Google+ could be the future of extra help or tutoring. It allows up to 10 people to meet in a video chatroom. Even the laziest of college students will no longer have an excuse to avoid seeking homework help.
Miller says, “If a professor senses that many students are having the same difficulty with a specific part of an assignment/project, or if a certain response would benefit a larger amount of students, the professor can simply let students know that there will be a 'hangout' study group at a specific time.”
The Sparks feature is another way students can connect about classes and projects. Classmates can share information with just a click within circles of peers who might share the same majors, fraternities, teams or clubs.
It’s those kinds of options that could entice professors to use Google+ over Facebook. If Google+ is where students are logging on to connect with classmates and find information about projects, they could be more inclined to stay there to socialize, too. Hold on, Facebook users- if the word “dislike” automatically pops in to your head, don’t worry. Miller doesn’t foresee people saying TTYL to Facebook just yet. Instead, he predicts they will be able to co-exist. After all, Pepsi and Coke do it. Chevy and Ford do it. Even Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan do it. Still, the question remains… can there only be one social media mogul?