Although much of Google+’s features seems directed straight at the Facebook monopoly,
Christian Oestlien, Google’s Lead Product Manager, insists it’s more about changing the Google experience from the inside out, and making Google+ a way to connect not just to the online world, but the real world as well.
“It’s about the Google experience and how it will be improved by making Google a much more personal and human experience.”, Oestlien states. So how does Google hope to accomplish this? It’s about sharing with friends, family and work “circles”in different ways.
What’s “Under the Hood” in Google+
- Circles – It gives you a public identity, crucial for networking, but still allows users to maintain a personal, private side.
- Hangouts – Real time chat with a few, or many people, be it friends or strangers.
- Instant uploads – Android phones with the Google + app can auto upload any photos to a private album, which can be shared at a user’s discretion.
- Sparks – By searching for an “interest” or hot topic, Google+ will lead you to relevant users – for example pick Lady Gaga as an interest and follow her feed
Online PR Perks: Google +1 Button for your website
Introduced in June, prior to the launch of Google+ , the Google +1 button serves as a social endorsement platform. It’s currently on one million websites and is generating over 4 billion impressions a day.
So why does +1 matter? It’s all about influence. +1 is a very transparent way to see what your family and friends endorse online. 71% of online users say family members and friends are influential, and 90% trust recommendations of people they know. Social search results will now also turn up in Google’s regular searches.
What’s new about Google+ for the Social PR world?
What’s unique about Google+ is the ability to search and also share to Circles. Google reports they are seeing a mix of both private and public circles, people are using them. Also Google+ is turning up in search results, furthering proof of Google+’s integration with the rest of the company’s products.
Online PR Profile: Google+ for Brands
Companies have been clamoring for brand pages since Google+’s inception, and Christian Oestlien said they are expected to roll out “soon”.
So what can you expect from them? They’ll provide a more personalized business experience with you customers, with social relationships with customers leading to real-world relationships. Google sees Circles as a way to target different segments of the online world, and to custom-fit your brand’s message to each audience.
What’s Coming? Google+ is not yet available to Google Apps users, but they are working hard to bring the features of Google+ to Apps users in the future. Please hurry! This is driving some of us crazy!