Google+ Updates with New Community Feature

New functionality enables you to connect more closely with like-minded folks

This past week Google announced that Google+, it’s fledgling social media network, had reached over 500 million accounts activated. These numbers place the site at about half of Facebook’s in terms of user accounts – not too bad for a newcomer of only a year!

But Google doesn’t seem to want to rest on it’s relative success, launching a new feature called “Google+ Communities.” This new feature enables users to join micro-communities based around their interests, much like Facebook’s “Groups” functionality.

But how different is “Communities” in comparison to “Groups?”

As of right now, not much seems different at first glance.

When you click on the Communities button on the navigation bar, you are brought to a small list of communities to discover. They seem to be hand-chosen and sponsored listings, but you can also search for others more your style – or create your own, public or private.

The main difference between Google’s variation of Facebook Groups seems to be how it handles your privacy and how it organizes member posts and events.

Categories for member posts

Where Facebook tends to group Group postings on one uniform wall, Communities allows for moderators to create categories in which members can talk about specific things regarding the main Community topic.

So for instance, I want to talk about Web Development. I can go ahead (as the moderator) and create categories for: Design, Social Media, SEO, etc. and my community members can place their conversations in the appropriate areas. In some regards this seems like a simplified discussion board.

Privacy is much more important here

Unlike Facebook Groups, when someone invites you to join a Google+ Community, you are not automatically added to the roster. This feels significantly less invasive, and encourages you to see a preview of the community you can join.


We look forward to exploring this tool much more in the coming days/weeks, and will report back with any interesting findings!