Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The new kid on the block - Google+ is open for business

Yesterday, Google+ went live.

Rather than simply flicking a switch to open sign-ups, they went live with 9 new features... and another 7 today!

They also made a killer play in new generating sign-ups - they stuck a huge arrow on the Google search page, the world's most visited webpage.

If you hover over the blue arrow, a caption reads "You're invited to join Google+"
This was the same technique Google used to promote its web browser Chrome. In just three years, Chrome has gone from being a Windows-only beta project to holding over 20% of the world's browser market-share and will likely soon-overtake seven-year-old Firefox (a cut-down version of Mozilla Suite, founded in 1998) as the world's #2 browser.

As well as leveraging it's strength in search to advertise its new social layer, Google has finally launched real search within Google+. You can now search users, Sparks and, most importantly, content within Google+. As you'd imagine, it's very good. And let us not forget, Google+ content now seeds search from Google's main search engine too.

The other developments position Google+ as a ubiquitous product. Huddle's rebirth as Messenger makes it an evolution of SMS - for a few meg of your mobile data plan, you now have a free, unlimited, multimedia-enabled, group-texting functionality. With Hangouts becoming mobile-enabled, you also have video calls for the price of your data plan. Further enhancements to Hangouts allow streaming through YouTube ("On Air Hangouts"), screensharing, Sketchpad and Google Docs integration which means this is now a very capable video-conferencing tool. If businesses start using it, it makes sense that their employees will explore it at home.

It's with Hangouts that Google is now spearheading its assault on the young-adult and teen market (although the latter theoretically restricted by its age-limitations): tonight, Google+ On Air Hangouts will launch with hosting. This is part of the wider celebrity push that Google is now undertaking. It worked for Twitter and I think it will work for Google.


  1. "Hitwise estimates that 59% of all traffic on Tuesday to Google+ came because of the blue arrow promotion" -

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