You’ve got Facebook for your personal life, LinkedIn for your professional life, and you may have been cajoled into a tryst with Twitter. There’s no room for another social network. That said, I’ve often said that if Facebook drops the ball with security or another critical feature, there may be an opportunity for Google+ to pick up a few users. I’ve been watching G+ to see what kinds of features they have in store, and I have to say, it’s an impressive, easy-to-use selection. In this article, I take a look at a few features you should try.

1) The “Explore” tab

Google+ has attempted to take the best of Twitter and combine it with the best of Facebook without impacting your personal privacy. They’ve done this by tightening up the “circles” so its clear to users when something is only visible by their close friends circle versus being visible to a larger group of people. The “Explore” tab is a place where you can look at popular public posts from anyone around the entire network, and it’s a great stream of interesting content. It gives G+ that Reddit-like sense of a being a place to get cool new ideas and posts.

2) Google Events

The new Google Events feature has a lot to like. It works like most other event features, in that you create an event, set some details and then post it to Google +. The improvements are that you can create a cool header image (my example below actually has a spinning record on the invite page itself, it looks great); the location automatically syncs with Google Maps; and the date and time automatically syncs with Google Calendar. It simplifies and integrates in a way that Facebook can’t.

3) Photos – Edits and Instant Upload

A cool feature for Android or iOS devices is the “instant upload”. It allows you to automatically upload every photo you take on your phone, so that you never lose an image and can easily share them with friends on your social network once you get home. The photo section also has a fantastic editing suite, which lets you decorate and add effects to any photo you upload. The editing suite was actually converted from what used to be Picnik, a popular photo app with a buffet of filters and effects.