Yesterday, Google + became available to Google Apps Users (I think this takes us one small step even closer to brand pages). When we first began covering Google + and its benefits to users AND businesses, we talked about how the search engine’s social network could be useful to businesses because of enhanced possibilities for collaboration (check out exactly what we said about it back in July here). Opening Google + to enterprise users will make this collaboration a reality and help businesses open lines of communication to an incredible degree.
Google + Will Change the Face of Collaboration
Even if this kind of interaction doesn’t take off within Google + (even though I think it will) – the possibilities are endless for copying these types of capabilities (on Facebook for instance; or on a whole new program that hasn’t been created yet). Whatever the case may be, in my opinion this Google Apps capability will the change face of inter-office communication – forever. I truly believe that this kind of integration will revolutionize the way we interact within our businesses.
Think about it – more businesses are letting people work from home because it saves them money and makes for happier employees (in some instances). Google + will make these kinds of transitions seamless. Yes, Skype is helpful, as are Google docs; but now, you can hold company wide +Hangouts, where everyone can meet at one time no matter where they are located, and also share documents at the same time. Basically, Google + provides you with everything you need – in one place.
It’s not just businesses that could benefit from this change – schools could too. As Google + takes hold, schools that use Google Apps (together, businesses and schools make up about 4 million Google Apps users) could see unprecedented collaboration and innovation.
How Will it Work?
When Google Apps users create profiles on Google +, they will look the same as any other Google +profile, with one exception: they will have one extra circle for sharing within whatever organizations to which they belong (one questions pops up in my head: can I integrate my personal account with my Google Apps account on Google +? Apparently Google is building a migration tool for merging these two accounts). So, if I used my EverSpark Google Apps email to create a Google + profile, I would have a circle for EverSpark. (The one hurdle is that your Google Apps administrator has to enable Google + access -if your account isn’t enabled to automatically allow things like this).
According to Product Manager Ronald Ho, in a Google blog post, “Hangouts with extras, which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs, lets you work together on projects even when your team can’t be in the same room. Whether you’re out of town, working on a project with a distributed group, or just don’t feel like walking to the next building for your meeting, Hangouts with extras can give your team the productivity boost it needs.”
Also new with Google +: Creative Kit, Ripples, What’s Hot
Three new features have also become available on Google + as the social network continues to evolve and improve. What’s Hot is kind similar to the concept of things that are “trending” on Twitter; here’s how Google defines it: “sometimes you want to know what the world is so excited about. Whether it’s breaking news or beautiful photos, you just don’t want to miss anything. With this in mind, we’re launching “What’s Hot” on Google+, a new place to visit for interesting and unexpected content.”
Here’s what “What’s Hot” looks like on my profile!
Ripples is a way to analyze public shares and posts. It’s like analytics for Google + activity: chart-like mechanisms reveal the activity and impact of a post. Google’s comments: “To get started, just find a public post that interests you, and select “View Ripples.” From there you can replay its activity, zoom in on certain events, identify top contributors and much more.”
Finally, Creative Kit, which is a tool that allows you to edit your photos – and do so quickly.
All in all, Google + has made some major changes with regard to business collaborative tools on its social network (finally, something Facebook doesn’t exactly offer) – as well as some minor changes to the whole of Google + in an effort to improve the experience of using it.
What do you think of these changes? Do you think they’ll improve Google +’s popularity? Leave us a comment or Tweet us @EverSparkSEO and let us know!
If you want to learn more about Google +, social media marketing, and/or SEO, check back with our blog for daily updates and quick, free tips. If you have more specific questions related to your business, give our SEO company a call at 770-481-1766.