Each social networking site has its own forte - MySpace for its musical influence, Delicious and its social bookmarking, Pinterest for its hobbies and activities, and now Google+ for its...photography?
Whilst many were unsure about the strengths Google+ would bring to the social networking table, the site has left its critics speechless - and its users vocal about the success it has since delivered. The social hangout has established itself to be one of the most popular photography online communities, with many an avid photographer sharing their images and reputation across the world thanks to the service.
"Google+ has just re-energized the photography community online," explains Ivan Makarov, a corporate tax consultant as well as photographer. "It was kind of dispersed in various different outlets before that. You had people on photo sites, but that was less and less popular because they weren't innovating fast enough. You had people on private forums, but that wasn't open enough. It was very decentralized, so when Google+ came along, people jumped on it."
The fruits of his photographic labour has certainly paid off, with himself and a few others banding together to create a 200-page photography book showcasing their talents - priced at $5 for the ebook version, $65 for the softcover and $75 for the hardback. Consisting of work from over 53 countries over four continents, the aim of the publication was not only to act as a portfolio, but to raise money for Kiva, a non-profit targeted at helping the poverty-stricken.
A limited edition was also made available, raising over $10,000 - however, Makarov has high hopes that this publication will become an annual event.