Google Collections takes on Pinterest
If you have logged into G+ lately, you have probably seen something announcing the release of Collections. Collections is Google’s answer to Pinterest. If you have yet to hear about it, it’s another platform that allows you to categorize your posts, photos, and videos by topic. Sure, Pages and Communities already do this in a sense, but the difference is with Collections, you are the only person modifying the content. Anything you post will appear in your stream and your followers can see it, but they cannot alter it.
Currently, this feature is only available for Android and web users, with iOS expected to roll out soon. To access Collections from the web: click on the Home menu in the upper left and select “Collections.” You can then click “create a Collection,” filling in the title of your creation and selecting your privacy settings. After this, you’re ready to click “create” and customize. One word of caution here, you cannot change the visibility setting for a collection, so if you are unsure of who you want to see it, consider choosing a circle of people you can later edit, just in case. Also, by default, you are automatically following the collections of people in your circles. If you want to change this, you will need to head over to the Collections area on Google+ to manage who you are following.
Ideas on how to use Collections
Now that you know how to use Collections, why would you want to? Several reasons come to mind: it’s a good way to archive posts and pictures; it’s easier to visit and share an entire collection and if you use Google+ frequently, it gives you all the fun organizational features of Pinterest, without the need to toggle between apps. Also, if you add co-workers to a specific circle, you can share a Collection with them; easily detailing picture, posts, and videos that relate to a current project. It’s like having an organized live feed, without leaving Google+.
Outside of the new organizational features, it does not hold any clear interest, in my opinion. It’s a bit like Facebook meets Pinterest. There’s the streaming feed like Facebook, and the curated, organized categories of Pinterest, but it is unclear how this will encourage users to engage more frequently with Google+. For now, it is a fun feature to try out and see what your friends are “collecting,” but the novelty of this may quickly wear thin.
Click on any image below to visit that specific Google+ Collection: