09 July 2011
Google Plus....whats news and whats more to come...
Some say it is the Facebook killer, an answer to the mighty Facebook and what not, despite being still in its early days, it has managed to create quite a buzz.
This is called the Google Plus project because Google wants users to know that it is adding a social layer to ALL Google products (search, photos, YouTube, etc.) rather than creating a stand-alone social application like Facebook.
One of the main Google Plus features lets users categorize their connections into "circles" -- such as business contacts, friends and family -- and share different information with each circle, as in real life.
Facebook attempted to do this with lists, but the process there is time-consuming and burdensome. Google Plus circles are easier to create and use. Unlike Facebook, you don't have to accept all "friends" into one large network and share information that at times may be irrelevant to many of them.
You also can create niche circles for specific purposes -- a "Media" circle to connect with the press, for instance, or an "Industry" circle to share information that will help establish your organization's reputation as a thought leader in your field.
One interesting feature is the "sparks" feature which extends that mission of searching information using Google search engine to Google Plus. Sparks make it easy for people to find interesting information to share with their circles.
Sparks also filter information, providing you relevant content about your interests. Its location within Google Plus and its ease of sharing encourages users to share information with relevant circles. An example may be an organization,uses this Sparks feature to find new information on Google Plus and then starts an informative conversation about how that news or information affects its business or the industry altogether.
The "hangouts" feature of Google Plus allows you to video chat with up to 10 people at once. Unlike Facebook's new video chat feature, which requires you to initiate a call, Google Plus lets you tell specific people (or entire circles) you are "hanging out" and invite them to join you for a face-to-face chat. Hangouts also foster group video chats, and therefore collaboration.
Google Plus is an exciting project -- one that is clearly just beginning. For marketers, this provides a fresh opportunity to have relevant conversations with your brand activists.