Google+ was first introduced 3 years ago and burst into the social media scene with a flare, reaching 150 million users within 6 months. The platform was intended to be Google’s competition with Facebook. The number of users currently hovers… around half a billion.
Although it hasn’t overshadowed Facebook, the sheer number of users on Google+ makes the platform essential for universities and other institutions. And because Google+ is tied into many other popular Google products, such as Google Maps, Gmail, and Google Search, maintaining a Google+ account makes it possible to gain exposure to users accessing various kinds of information.
Many well-recognized, elite schools top the Most Influence on Google+ list, including Columbia University, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. This may be due to the popular Hangouts On Air feature of Google+, which allows popular thinkers, professors, engineers, and performers to stream talks and demonstrations as well as host live conversations for other Google+ users to join. Duke University recently featured such a hangout on their page, where professors from Duke, Princeton, and Yale debated about honesty in online education for a live Google+ audience.
The University of Kentucky ranks #5 on the Google+ list, boasting around 235,000 followers and 1.4 million views. Through balancing posts about daily life at the school with featured videos and articles of interest, the page attracts followers of all types. A focus on individual students and their lives at the school gives their page a personal appeal, encouraging users to engage and share.