Twitter Header Template 2016 and PSD Download

Twitter Header Template

Since releasing the new profile image last year Twitter has made a few minor changes, mostly to do with the way the scaling of the image is handled for mobile.  The new Twitter profile background spans the full width of the screen up to a maximum image size of 2560px x 600px and a maximum file size of 3mb.

Twitter Header Background Template PSD Download

The new header is fully responsive and will stretch and shrink based on the width of the device that you are viewing. When you upload a new header background, you can test this by shrinking the width on your desktop browser. The image will shrink down to a minimum size of 1024px x 280px. If the screen you are looking at the Twitter background on is smaller than this size, the right side of the image will cut off depending on how small the image is.

Twitter Background Header on a Smaller Screen Size
This is not the only challenge of creating a properly branded Twitter header backgound. The Twitter profile image has also been updated. The new size for your profile image is now 200px x 200px. The larger Twitter profile image holds a fixed position. If you tested out the responsiveness of the background header, then you should have also seen that the profile image remains in the same place on screen. The background header position underneath will change, so you have to be aware of the position of any text or images that must be visible to keep them from being covered by the profile image. Even though Twitter allows you to upload a PNG file for a profile image, any transparent areas will be filled in with white. So right now, it will not be possible to make a profile image that shows through to the background header image.

The template that I created has 3 safe zone areas. The safe zone for the main content will be visible on all screen sizes, unlike the mobile versions the twitter card will resize properly.

Twitter Background Header Card

The safe zones on the left or the right of the main content safe area will appear on desktop screens that are larger than the minimum Twitter background header size.

Because the Twitter Header image will crop a larger image and stretch a smaller image to 1500px x 500px, I recommend uploaded your image at this size. When you upload your new image as a Twitter header you will be given two options for placement. One will allow you to move the image (provided that the uploaded image is larger than 1500px x 500px, and will also give you a scale bar that will allow you to zoom the image in and out. If you are using the template I have provided, you will not need to adjust these settings. The template is already optimized for Twitter and should provide a seamless transition from Photoshop to Twitter.
Twitter Header Upload Options

The previous Twitter Background still exists, though it seem now it is merely an aesthetic that will only be seeing by you when you are looking at your home stream or checking notifications. It would be nice if in the future you will be able to see the regular Twitter background when you start scrolling down while looking at someone’s profile.

Maximum Twitter Header Size: 2560px x 600px
Minimum Twitter Header Size: 1024px x 280px
Recommended Twitter Header Size: 1500px x 500px
Maximum Twitter Background File Size: 3mb

If you downloaded the header template, throw me a bone and share it with your friends!


And don’t forget to check out the
YouTube Channel Art Template with PSD
Facebook Timeline Template with PSD
Google Plus Cover Photo Template with PSD

Why Google Plus?

As a social media strategist and coach, clients and acquaintances often ask if I think Google Plus is a good network to use for business. Many people are still unsure about Plus since they have only a limited experience with the network and rarely spend time there, so they want to know what we think.

The truth is that any business can leverage the power of any of the popular social networks. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and the ability to help you build an audience and friends along the way. So if anyone can use any major social network to build their business online, why choose Google Plus in particular?

Before I answer that, I would actually like to go the other direction and look at the most common reasons that I hear from potential clients that they are not on Google Plus.

Reasons NOT to Use Google Plus

There are more users on Facebook.

Facebook does have the overall advantage in number of users. And in casual conversation with people, it seems like Facebook is favored overall. However, depending on your business model, you may not be able to leverage the numbers of Facebook. If your products or services are locally based, you may want to consider the Google Local aspect of Google+. An active Google Local page can help your customers to rate your products and services, and a good local strategy mixed with strong ratings can help your business be found more easily on Google for local searches, such as “Orlando Life Insurance.”

I already have a small following on other social networks.

This raises the age-old question: “Is the grass really greener on the other side?”

To put it bluntly, the grass is greener where you tend and water it. Removing all natural factors from this scenario, if you do not water your lawn, it will not grow. In fact, it will die.

So if you apply this to the usage of your social networks, it is all about where you spend your time and how much you invest into the success of your efforts. If you have a small following on Twitter but you are not consistently active and seeing a lot of engagement there, starting over on another social network is more of a lateral movement than a setback.

If you do have a large following on Twitter and a lot of social engagement there, I highly recommend that you use those relationships to encourage your friends and followers to join you on Google Plus.

I don’t have time for another social network.

If you do not make time, you will never have time. Whenever you start a new activity, it will always be difficult if you do not make time for it.

For example, just recently, I decided that I was going to start taking 2 mile walks every day. I have attempted to do things like this before and failed because I had not set up a habit that allowed me to continue to enjoy long walks. Now I have been much more consistent with getting away from the computer for a while to enjoy the outside without a screen in front of my face, though that has been difficult having Google Glass.

My friends are not here.

When you go out for drinks with your friends, do you try and sell them your products or services? Limiting your web audience to your friends and family may not be a very good strategy. Instead, you should look into finding markets where your potential customers exist and learn how you can reach them. The places where your friends hang out online should not dictate your marketing decisions.

I don’t understand it.

This may actually be the most understandable of the reasons people shy away from Google Plus. There are lots of features on Plus and it is structured a little differently from some of the other platforms.

Let me ask this, though: does the fact that you understand Facebook mean that you are going to be able to use it better? Does it mean that the benefits are going to outweigh those on other social networks?

Some of the best things in life exist outside our own comfort zones, so if this is your objection I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and give Google Plus an honest attempt.

Reasons to Use Google Plus
Anyone can come up with reasons not to do something, so since we’ve now acknowledged these concerns, I would like to tell you what you are missing by not building a Google Plus marketing campaign for your business.

Untapped Markets

This almost outweighs every reason not to use Google Plus on its own. You will find Google Plus does have a lot of people on it, but it is still a budding network. Well over 500 million people have a Google Plus profile, and the social network is up to roughly 300 million (USA TODAY) active monthly users. This means there is still a lot of growth to happen on Plus, and if you happen to be part of the first groups in your industry to tap into that market you now have a rare opportunity to grow with a major social network.

Even if you are not the first in your industry, being on Google+ gives you a great opportunity to easily connect with those who have already arrived. Building these relationships can be vital to your success on Google Plus. When professionals from other industries validate what you are saying, it goes a long way to establish authority among your audience and your colleagues.

Attention-Grabbing Features

Google Plus is packed with amazing features that businesses can use to grab the attention of their audiences and engage potential customers:

  • Auto awesome – I have heard other marketers (mostly G+ naysayers) call the auto awesome feature a cheesy effect. To some it may be cheesy, but if you learn how to use the feature well, it can help draw more attention to your post. If reaching more people and driving more engagement is cheesy, then yes, auto awesome is about as cheesy as they come.
  • Animated Gifs – Like the auto awesome feature, a moving picture on your post will draw attention to your message. Unlike an auto awesome, gifs give you more control over the animation of the image and allow you to create seamlessly looping animations that mesmerize your followers.
  • Text Formatting – With long-form content, formatting is always a good idea, and the good folks at Google Plus made sure they included the ability to format your content. See the chart below for your Google+ post formatting options:

 How to format text on a Google Plus post

  • Large Format Images – On some social networks there are standard sizes that your shared images will display. I’ve gone to post an image on Facebook and had the text on the image cut off because the picture was the wrong size. On Google Plus, there is no wrong size. I have not had any of the text on my images cut off from the image being too large. In fact, on Google Plus, sharing large images stands out in the newsfeed and can generate more engagement and sharing.
  • Interactive Posts – Interactive posts give you another way to link a specific item on your website without having to put the link into the post text itself. Let’s say you share a post from your website that has a download on it. Most people are going to click through and find the download link as fast as they can. They will download the resource then be on their way. Even though you may want more people to actually land on your website, you can use interactive posts to help your audience. In an interactive post you can include both the link to the download and the blog post in the same post image. (see example below). Just make sure that you properly brand your download so people know where they got the amazing resource!

Hangouts and Hangouts on Air

Today, we want to be able to communicate easily with each other, and having one unified platform where that can happen in video, audio, and text format is invaluable. That’s where Google+ Hangouts come in to help.

  • Private Messaging System (Instant Messaging) – The PM system on Google Plus used to be pretty weak. It was closely tied into the regular notification system and it became difficult to keep up with private messages that you had received a week before. Then Google integrated Gchat with Google+ and turned it into the Hangouts program, which serves as a chat and private message system. The great thing about this integration is that you don’t have to be on Google Plus to use it! You can chat with people while you are on your Gmail, and even directly from your phone.
  • Hangout meetings – Hangouts as a PM system works pretty well, but did you know you can also use Hangouts to make free video calls, with up to 10 people? I have worked with companies that have started utilizing this technology to conduct meetings with their business colleagues and clients from across the world. Video hangouts have helped me conduct consultations from my home, including the use of the screen sharing capability to guide a client through a process that would have been difficult to do on a traditional phone call.
  • HOA Shows – Hangouts on Air are a new breed of internet talk show. They are similar to a Hangout call with one exception: Hangouts on Air are broadcast so an unlimited number of people can view the hangout live, while still allowing only 10 people to participate in the video call. This allows the audience to interact with the host and show guests in real time! I have participated in a number of HOA shows now, and most of them encourage audience participation and answer audience questions directly on the air. After the show is over, Google Plus automatically uploads the video to the host’s YouTube channel, where it can then be easily found via Google or YouTube search. If you set up a show of your own or participate regularly on other shows, it can do wonders for your branding and lead generation online.

Posts and profiles can be found in Google Search

Find Google Plus Profiles on Search

Some people think this is creepy and do not want to be found on Google search, and I can understand that. But here is the reality: if you conduct any kind of activity on the Internet, people can find it using different search techniques.

With this in mind, wouldn’t it be better if you could control the information that people found when they tried to look you up on Google? If you use the internet for business, which I imagine that you do if you kept reading this post, wouldn’t you want your social networking profiles to be found for specific keywords that are related to your brand?  This can be achieved on Google+ through the topics and keywords in your profile, but also through any Public posts that you share. Public posts are indexed by Google Search and can be found just like any blog post.

For example: You wrote a blog post about why people should use Google Plus as a marketing platform, and shared it on Facebook and Twitter. Neither of these social platforms allow Google to index their posts, so once people stop responding to your post, it’s dead in the water. Now you are relying on the SEO of your website and blog post to draw more traffic. Had you shared the post on Google Plus and added a paragraph or two extra on the topic, you would then have TWO posts that may be found for these particular keywords.

Find Google Plus Posts in Search


Communities are another powerful marketing tool that allow you to connect with thousands of people that do not have you in their circles. When you share to a community that has 50,000 people in it, 50,000 people get the possibility of seeing your post.

There are some factors that play into whether they see your post or not: if they’re signed in, if they are active in the community, whether they allow community posts in their home stream, etc. However, in a community with higher numbers, even if only a quarter of the community members saw your post, you could still expect some engagement and possibly link clicks depending the popularity of the post.

Communities are also great places to meet like-minded people, and build real and lasting relationships. I personally recommend keeping the amount of communities you are involved in to a minimum so you can gain the most value out of your communities of choice.

Author Rank

Author Rank has been a pretty controversial topic amongst digital marketers. Some time ago, Google filed a patent that outlines a system that rates each individual blog post and social media post against a single author. Google Plus allows you to submit your information for authorship as a way to identify yourself and your written work across the web. Some marketers believe that it is already partially being tested, others believe that it is still being set up and that there are no signs of authors actually having a rank yet. One thing this does contribute is your picture right next to your blog or Google Plus post:

Google Plus Author Rank in Search

Whether or not Author Rank is actually enabled, it is still a great idea to sign up so that you can start building your authorship across the web before it becomes a reality. (And if it is already coming in to play, you need to get on it as quick as possible so you don’t fall behind!)

Is Google Plus Right For You?

If you are still not sold on Google Plus as a marketing platform, it’s possible that it may just not be a right fit for you. Not every platform is for everyone, and you have to find an online home that you are going to be willing to use for the long term.

That being said, if you haven’t given Google Plus a fair try and you want to make your website a centerpiece of your business, you may want to give it a second thought. And if you are a digital marketer like myself, and still feel that Plus is not the place for you, try not to discount it when it comes to your clients. It may help them even more than it helps you.

From everything I have seen in my time on the platform, the arguments for using Google+ far outweigh most of the common arguments against it. For my minimal time investment, I have seen huge returns and opportunities for visibility that would have required far greater investments of time and money on other platforms. This is why I choose Google Plus.

Facebook Marketing: The Not-So-Secret Sauce

Facebook Marketing

Facebook is still the platform that small businesses flock to for digital marketing. With their claims of one billion users (in reality closer to 750 million active users), and the presence of offline family and friends, it’s not difficult to see why it’s such an attractive platform.

As more and more people create a Facebook page to market their business online, you will find that creating an audience is becoming more and more difficult. Combine a lack of time with a lack of marketing knowledge and several months later most small businesses have gained little to no results from their Facebook marketing efforts and start to wonder why they are even there in the first place.

Eventually, in many cases, these pages fall silent and the business owners forget why they even got onto Facebook in the first place.

Common Facebook Marketing Mistakes

investing in your social brand

Business owners who brave the world of Facebook marketing sometimes go in with the assumption that success is as easy as sharing a cute picture or a particularly informational blog post. However, Facebook marketing has plenty of pitfalls for people who are after serious and sustainable success.

Some of the most common issues that I see are:

  • Marketing to your friends and family – This is one of the most common issues that I encounter. While some of your friends may be interested in your marketing messages, I’m willing to bet most of your friends and family really don’t care. This is where you can use Facebook Lists to separate those that want to hear your message from those who do not.
  • Sharing content only on their Fan Page – With Facebook lists in place, you want to be sure to use your personal profile to share the content on your Fan Page to the lists of people that are interested in the message. This will help increase the visibility and interactions of your posts. Since Facebook limits the organic visibility of your posts to about 20%-25% of your fans, this boost can really help your posts achieve a greater reach.
  • Sharing mostly content that drives people to other websites – We almost always recommend that the main goal of any social media marketing campaign be to get your fans to your website where you control the user experience. Your website allows you to present in-depth information that can move a fan to become a customer. It’s very difficult to gain a customer if you are always sending them to someone else’s website.
  • Not being social – This is a big one. Many brands on Facebook fail to engage with their fans. The last thing you should do is make a post and forget about it. When people like and comment on your post, thank them and respond to any questions. It does not matter whether you are using your brand page or your personal profile– speak to your audience as if you are a real person. Adding this social layer to your Facebook marketing campaign can go a long way to produce leads and advocates. By creating trust between your brand and your fans, people will be more receptive to your message and willing to share your content.

Even if a business is fully social on Facebook– reaches out and engages with other business pages, shares consistently good content, and focuses on their own website—it can still be a struggle to drive effective promotions. It has become clear that Facebook wants brand owners to pay to play, which means that paid promotions are now a key strategy for companies that want to drive business and grow an audience through Facebook.

Free or Pay to Play?

When I start talking about the “pay to play” nature of Facebook, some people like to argue with me. Like many others, they view Facebook as a place they can go to market their products or services for free. This is so much a part of the Facebook perception, in fact, that the promise is right there on the main sign-up page of Facebook: IT’S FREE AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

facebook marketing free and always will be

I’d like to dispel that theory by first saying: Social Media Marketing is not free! Social media costs time and effort, and executed properly can include other expenses as well.

Consider your own cost per hour as a business owner– let’s say it’s $100. When you spend time on social media marketing, you are essentially spending $100 per hour on your efforts. Not to mention the information you are giving to Facebook, which they use to help other companies market to you.

In fact, the Facebook profile is an ingenious tool for advertising, because people freely give away information about what they like and dislike. Without people so freely defining themselves on their profiles, Facebook would have almost no way to target individuals with the most appropriate ad, reducing the overall success of Facebook ad campaigns. All the information that others give out freely will eventually aid us in creating our Facebook ad campaign.

Facebook Ads Reach Your Audience

To learn more about how you can uncover the Not-So-Secret Sauce of Facebook Marketing success, click here to download the PDF:

facebook advertising strategies

Click Here To Download the PDF

YouTube Channel Art Template PSD

YouTube Channel Art Template

YouTube’s channel art has gone through many changes over the years. The current recommended size by YouTube is 2560px x 1440px, and no larger than 2mb. Even though the recommended size for your photo is rather large, you will not be able to see most of the image unless you are viewing the channel art from a television screen (like through the YouTube app for Xbox).

Channel Art Template For YouTube

The channel art has a responsive design on desktop computers, meaning that the image will scale to reveal more content on larger browser windows.

While accommodating larger size screens, there is also a minimum size at which point the image will no longer scale. When scaled all the way to its minimum, the channel art will be 1546px X 423px. YouTube claims that this is the “Safe Area,” given that text and logos will not be cut off, but I have found that this is not entirely true. Even though the image may display the area that is in the 1546px x 423px area, it is by no means safe. The logo that sits on top of your channel art is 100px x 100px and has a left margin of 15px. This means as the image scales, 115px to the left will be obscured by the logo, and since the image that is displayed at the lowest screen size is actually 638px x 176px and not the 1546px x 423px that YouTube claims, there will be a considerable amount of scaling done to the image, which makes that 115px to the left cover much more of your image than you may have anticipated.

Logo Covers YouTube Safe Area

The Safe Area is not Safe!

At the maximum desktop size, the channel art area to use is 2560px X 423px and the actual display size is 1060px x 176px. As you can see, the channel art banner will only grow in width and not in height. This means that the “SAFE AREA” will always be visible and the areas to the right and left might be visible depending on the viewer’s browser size.

Full Desktop Size YouTube Channel Art

YouTube recommends an image size of 2560px x 1440px to fit all television sizes. Even though only a small portion of the image shows on mobile and desktop, when someone views from a television the entire image will be shown.

Television and Xbox YouTube Channel Art

Important Info at a Glance:

YouTube Recommended Channel Art Size: 2560 x 1440

YouTube Channel Art Max File size: 2 MB

Total Size: 2560px x 423px though the actual YouTube art at maximum size displays at 1060px x 176px

Safe Area: 1546px X 423px centered on the image. Remember on smaller screen sizes the logo may cover the “Safe Area”.

Flexible Area: 507px to the left and 507px to the right of the safe area, may be visible depending on the screen size.

Even though the channel art safe area height is 423px, YouTube displays the image at a height of 176px on desktop. To achieve the smaller size, the image is scaled and not cropped.

Logo is always affixed to the top of the image 15px away from the left most margin and will cover a portion of the safe area.

Download the YouTube Channel Art Template

And don’t forget to check out the
Facebook Timeline Template with PSD
Google Plus Cover Photo Template with PSD
New Twitter Header Template with PSD

Looking for photos for your YouTube Channel Art? Check out Graphicriver!


Images for design template

How To Grow Your Following On Social Media – Relationship Marketing

What do your social media accounts mean to you?

When you log into any of the social networking sites that you frequent, what is your main objective?

Are you trying to make new friends, catch up with existing ones, or grow your professional network? Maybe, like many business professionals, you’re trying to sell a product or service through social media.

No matter what your objective is, you should always consider how you may be perceived by your target audience when you share a piece of content. This is especially important if you are trying to use social media to grow your professional network or sell products and services.

Build relationships

When you share to your social media followers:

or even to a group or community, there are three things you want to ask yourself:

1. Is this spam? – It’s very easy to generate spam and not even know it. It seems most of what we encounter on social media is spam, so be careful! There are several ways you can spam your follows or communities and all are frowned upon and will cause your audience to lose interest in you. You might be a spammer and not even know it.

2. Is this quality content? – This is a little harder to identify than spam, and for the most part takes time and testing. If you share a piece of your content into a popular community and it gets very little to no interaction, perhaps it was not to the quality standards of the community. This is a clear indication that you need to try to either create more useful content, write a better description for social media post, or you may be sharing the content in the wrong places. Which brings us to the next question.

3. Is the content relevant for the audience? – I know some business owners and marketers think that their products and services are truly for everyone.  Make no mistake, this is not the case. For example, if you are in a local community, not everyone there will need your services just because they live in the same city that your business operates. Instead of pushing product-centered messages, build relationships to try to convert local community members into your advocates. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful selling tools, and social media has only amplified that.

After evaluating your content, evaluate your engagement. Don’t worry, this is an easy one.

1. Do you +1/Like other people’s posts? – Sometimes you may not have a comment on the topic, or anything to really add to someone’s post, but you still enjoyed the content and want leave your endorsement. Giving the post a +1/Like is a great way to do this. This helps other’s promote their content, and shows to the poster and your audience that you enjoyed this post.

2. Do you comment on other people’s posts? – More than just one liners. Do you ask the poster questions in your comments? Do you add new ideas to the conversation? Talking with people that you feel are authorities in your industry is a great way to be identified as one yourself. If people that are already popular for talking about the same topics that you talk about, gaining an endorsement from them can be huge for your reputation.

3. Do you share other people’s content? – It’s important to share content from other people. Sharing nothing except your own content only works in some cases, generally for large and well established brands. Social media is about being social, if you read something someone else has posted and you think your friends and following would enjoy seeing this, share it! Let them know what it is exactly that you enjoyed about the article.

Believe it or not, this helps everyone. It helps the person you follow by giving them more visibility; something they may remember by in turn sharing your post later on. It helps your friends and followers by giving them new information and someone new to follow. By helping other people you have also helped yourself– to your friends, followers, and the original poster you look like more of an expert by validating the content in the post and sharing it.

Your social interactions with others will help to grow the amount of people that follow you and share your content. The more people that you can build relationships with through your marketing efforts, the better your social campaign will go. You first have to become interested in others before they will become interested in you.

Think about this in terms of your personal friends. How many conversations do you have with your friends where you are the only one that speaks? I doubt that you have any friends where this has been the history of your relationship. “Friends” that allow exclusively one-sided conversation are usually called psychologists. I personally feel that the person that is talking is the one having the most fun, so allow other people to have fun with you.

Build Relationships On Line

High-quality, relevant content combined with an outwardly-oriented approach that revolves around an interest in other people is still the ideal recipe for success on social media.

How do you identify and create high-quality relevant content? How do you identify where you should share it?

Not Coming to the Google+ party? You are Missing Out!

Google announced a couple of days ago that your Google+ contacts will now appear in your drop-down contacts when sending messages through Gmail. Apparently, for some Gmail users, this news is not only inconvenient, it is deeply problematic.

Journalist Chris Taylor took his objections to Mashable, in the form of an OP-ED piece called “Sorry, Google+, We Still Won’t Come to Your Party.” He focused on calling out the sins against its users that Google is perpetrating by integrating so many of its services with Google+.

Unfortunately, many of the objections laid out in the article are either groundless or reflect a serious misunderstanding of the purpose of Google+. Since Chris has chosen to spread that misinformation on a very popular channel, I thought I would take the time to reach out to Chris to address his concerns and offer my professional insights about the real purpose and value that can be found on Google Plus.

Does Google+ integration “mandate engagement”?

I find it interesting when anyone complains about a company integrating elements of one service that they control with another service that they control. The unified login is becoming increasingly popular—even other social networks (like Goodreads) allow and even encourage logging in with your Facebook or Twitter account.

(For those that do not know, a user login is when you use a social service like Facebook or Google Plus to sign in to an unaffiliated website or service.)

So YouTube and Gmail now require a Google Plus login. This in no way mandates engagement as Chris suggests. It is still possible to sign up for an account and not make any use of the platform…just as many people have done already.

Is Google just trying to bolster their numbers?

Is Google just trying to bolster their numbers for Google+? Perhaps that is one goal. However, from an analytical perspective, a unified login for Google+, YouTube, and Gmail is a great way to consolidate the people who are logging in already, and determine the true number of individuals who are using Google services. This technique will lower the number of duplicate sign-ins for multiple services.

The fact is that Google Plus has already reached a monthly user count of 300 million “in-stream”, and this is larger than Twitter’s monthly user numbers. And these numbers reflect only the people that logged into Google Plus itself, and actively utilized services within their Google+ stream.

Incidentally, Facebook is no different when it comes to promoting inaccurate numbers. Facebook regularly promotes that they have 1.2 billion users. But the 1.2 billion represents user logins, and if you compare user logins Google Plus is right behind them.

Gmail integration means that anyone can email you.

So the big news is that Gmail has now been integrated into Google Plus, so people can email you if they have you in their circles. This is not very different from the way it previously worked.

In fact, long before this integration, I could still add people to a circle, export their email addresses and use those email addresses to market ads directly to people on Facebook, LinkedIn, or via email. This means that, as the user, it’s up to you to protect your privacy with the tools the service allows. Just like it is on any other social network.

The Google Plus integration with Gmail does not give anyone your email address, unless you have listed it publicly or send a reply to their email.

Gmail and Google Plus

Even more importantly, it seems like Chris didn’t take the time to fully understand how this service works. Yes, people that have you in their circles can send an email to you, but ONLY if you already have them in YOUR circles. You have to manually change your settings if you want to allow people who are not in your circles to contact you.

Google Plus and Gmail Integration Control who emails you from Google Plus

The example Chris offered, of getting an email from someone you deliberately kept your email from, will only happen if you change your settings to allow it.


Google is a bad host because they are forcing people into their party.

Many services are already integrated into Google Plus, whether you realize it or not. But no matter whether you use Google Search, Google Docs, YouTube, Hangouts, or Gmail… not one of them forces you to use Google Plus as Chris suggests when he says,

If a host made you promise to go to his party before you could pass comment on a TV show in your own home, if he co-opted your local mail service to send you constant invitations from people you’ve never heard of, if he boasted about how many other people were going because he’d forced them to RSVP — well, would all that make you more or less likely to attend his shindig?

This example is incorrect and is contributing to misinformed perceptions about Google+. It’s more like going to a FREE convention where a company asks you to sign up for their FREE services before you use them. How dare they!

What the party is really like.

The Party On Google Plus

I am one of the people Chris refers to who is having a good time on Google Plus. It is just what he described: a riotous social affair that is full of life and color. And with a few exceptions, I have never met most of the people there outside Plus.

This ability to connect with people I would have never met before is why I love Google Plus. I use Facebook to connect with my friends and family, and I do not expect to treat Google+ the same way. Different social networks give me the chance to meet new people. I don’t always get the same chance on a closed network like Facebook.

In no way has Google strong armed anyone into using the Google Plus social network. You don’t have to use Google Plus to use any of their other services– you simply have to use it to sign in. But I encourage Chris and other skeptics to give Google Plus a proper go someday.

I’d love to teach you that circles are not about segregating a party by what you share, and that many people choose to post publicly, so that anyone can engage with them.

I’d love to show you the merits of those same circles for organizing the people you follow and increasing your engagement.

I’d love it if you learned that the nature of Google Plus is to encourage lots of random collisions of people from many different ends of the social spectrum.

Chris Taylor has a decent following on Google Plus, but doesn’t share anything and claims a very poor experience. This says to me that he does not understand the service at all, either by choice or by ignorance.

Based on the concerns in his article, it would seem that Chris’s largest issue regarding Google Plus is that he expects it to be Facebook. If you want to talk to people you know in person, feel free to stick to Facebook. However, if you want to meet new people and grow your professional and personal circles, Google Plus is the place to be.