Our team here at ‘corePHP’ was very excited to receive a Google+ invite. We immediately started testing G+ and our initial impression is “Facebook on steroids”. The great thing about G+ is that it is fully integrated with all our other products on Google that we use on a daily basis.
A few great features we truly enjoyed:
- +1 Button – Every time you +1 a site you can readily review these links in your profile. Much like an extended bookmarking system.
- Breaking down of the streams – This is where G+ circles comes into play. Here you are able to personilze the way you organize the people you interact with. By interaction I mean 1. the people who will be able to view your stream to make comments and post 2.) the people you want to share the things you post with. This allows you to easily read information that pertains to a specific circle or share to a specific circle.
- Hangout – This sure is an awesome feature. Up to 10 people can be on the video chat and share information easily. That is more then popular Skype/Facebook partnership. The hangout area is powerful and comes with the ability to share what people are watching on YouTube, chat, and able to have control on the main video that you are watching.
Here are some features that we haven’t even touched.
- Search – Search is a huge feature Google can and will leverage for Google+. Google disabled Realtime Search, which displayed tweets from Twitter and some limited content from Facebook on July 4 after its contract with Twitter expired. Google had little interest in renewing the contract because it will probably integrate its own Google+ live feed into Search.
- Productivity and Communication – If Google provides companies with a full-fledged web presence integrated with its social networking platform, there will be little reason for App users to leave the world of Google products.
- E-commerce – Google already has the Google Checkout payment system and its Products search tapping into all sorts of online merchants. Google could theoretically tie both services into Google+ for businesses, enabling a company to link its payment service to a back-end database of products within Google’s ecosystem, rather than sending shoppers off to PayPal. This would create a robust Social E-Commerce solution for many users.
- Mapping and Location-based Tie-Ins – Google can take the first step of integrating the new Google+ pages with Google Places, which appear in its Maps search results.
- Mobile Payments – The successful integration of NFC into a mobile Google+ would have serious implications for many of the points raised above. For example, a user could not only check into a location using their Google+ profile, but could purchase through it as well, with the purchase tracked and shown to the business owner. In theory, a Google+ user could be tracked from when he/she clicked on an ad, how much time she spent on the website, when he/she checked into the store, and what he/she bought.
As you can see Google is moving into a new direction. I would call this movement the “Social Search Engine”. Google already has the most powerful search engine and now is pushing for it to be more and more social with the users that interact with Google and their products.
As Google+ increases in momentum there will be new features that will appear and the social war will surely show an interesting outcome in the near future. A major thing that is coming this year from Google+ is the Business Profiles that many are saying will trump Facebook pages. Time will tell to see how Google+ will turn out. So far it is moving in the right direction.
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