Google Plus // Series Finale.
We started this series with a post about Google Search – which represents the beginning of Google. We're ending the series with Google Plus, which used to be considered the future of Google, or “Google 2.0”.
“Google+ is the new Google.”
Back in 2013 (head of Google+ up to April 2014) said – “You can think of Google+ as Google 2.0. It's the next generation of Google,” he said.
“The old Google was soiled; your identity and how you share with your family was different across each product.” He added, “In the new version of Google, we know your name, we understand your circles and we make every service better.”
Unfortunately for Vic, technology moves fast and things change rapidly in the virtual space. Google+ didn't turn out to be Google 2.0, and it's not really considered as the next generation of Google.
But with that said, he wasn't completely wrong. Even though Google+ turned out to be drastically different than what Google intended, I believe it still has a role in the future of Google.
The future of Google Plus
There's no denying that since Vic Gundotra's original statement, Google Plus has gone through significant changes in regards to both the social platform aspect, and it's role in integrating the numerous Google products.
Multiple products (such as Google Photos and Hangouts) have been departed from Google Plus and are now standalone products. And Google is pushing back from the requirement to have a Google+ profile to complete various actions across Google products (such as creating YouTube channels, commenting on YouTube videos, adding reviews on Google Play and more).
But on the other hand, Google Plus recently launched Collections, a Pinterest-like experience which allows users to add post and images into ‘boards' based on a certain interest. But unlike Pinterest boards, Google+ collections are powered by the community factor that gives users the ability to connect and engage with posts rather than just sit back and ‘follow'.
Not surprisingly, collections turned out to be a huge success for the platform. For example, my own collections of Google Tips & Tricks To Boost Your Productivity, Video Templates for your Business, and Ignite Your Freelance Career are been followed by over 110,000 people. That's amazing considering my personal Google+ profile (that hasn't been very active lately) has less than 5,000 followers.
So what is my take on the future of Google Plus? I don't think it will be gone anytime soon… on the contrary. I believe that Google+ will keep growing and expanding, but will develop into an interest-based social platform, meaning it will sustain a strong focus on collections and communities. As a consequence, we might keep seeing various Google+ products depart into standalone tools (as we've seen with Google Photos and Hangouts), until the platform solely focuses on being an interested based platform.
Google+ integration with Google as a social layer
Google Plus originally intended to be a lot more than just a social media network, it's intent was to be the social layer or the ‘glue' that connects between all the various Google products. For more about Google+ as a social layer watch this video by
So how closely is / was Google+ integrated into Google's products? Take a look at this list:
- Google+ local
- Personalized results
- Google+ brand pages
- +1 as a social indicator
- Authority / no longer true
- (In search)
- Opening hours
- Phone Number
- (In maps)
- Share directions
- Your places
- Top Fans
- Google+ comments / no longer true
- Community Insights
- Youtube channel connected to profile
- Play games
- App reviews / no longer true
- Shared activity
- Reviews and ratings
- Circles as labels
- Recent posts by
- Add to circle button
- Reply to comments from Gmail
Across the web
- +1 and share content
- Google+ comments on websites
- Verified Google plus pages for websites
- Share and collaborate on documents
- Events appear in schedule
- Schedule or join hangout events
- Connect with your circles
- Hangouts on air with public or circles
- Better ads based on circles +1’s
- Better ads based on personal data
Google+ in not dead nor dying, but it definitely is going through a major transformation and transition phase. Google Plus is here to stay, but it will keep developing and transforming into an interest-based platform. As I see it, Google+ is still the most Social social media network when it comes down to form meaningful connections, and as such, is a fantastic place for connecting with like-minded people based on interest groups (collections and communities).
Therefore, I believe we'll be seeing products which are unrelated to the ‘interest-based mindset' depart into standalone products. And with that said, I do believe that we'll be seeing less of the ‘Social Layer' aspect of Google Plus (meaning Google+ won't be the social Glue connecting between Google products).
The bottom line is – Google+ never succeeded in being “Google 2.0”, but ‘Google Plus 2.0' might well succeed in being a separate Google service, focused on connecting people with common interests.Google+ was never Google 2.0 Time for 'Google+ 2.0'Click To Tweet
7 Pro Google Plus Tips
Here are 7 tips to help you make your Google Plus experience even more awesome than it is now.
(1) G+ post formatting
Create beautiful Google+ posts by adding bold titles, italics, strikethrough and symbols! Check out The Plus Editor which is a simple yet powerful and extremely useful text editor for Google plus, allowing you to create beautifully structured posts for Google+ with bold titles, italic & strikethrough text and unique symbols: www.thepluseditor.com
(2) Personal Communities and Collections
Create a private communities on Google+ (for you alone), and share your favorite posts with that community for saving and reading later.
With the new Google plus collections feature, you can now create a private collection and ‘bookmark' posts for reading later.
In a way the concept of sharing to private collections is very similar to sharing to private communities, the main difference being that communities allow you to sort posts into separate categories which great for keeping things organized. Therefore I would still recommend using Google plus communities for saving and categorizing useful posts.
(3) Opt-in notification circle
One of the most powerful yet unknown features of Google plus is the ability to create opt-in notification circles which in a way act similarly to email marketing campaigns.
Notification circles are extremely useful for keeping your followers informed about new content you share. Advanced users could even create multiple notification circles based off various segments. A few ideas for effective circles would be: “blog posts updates”, “New product launch updates”, “Goodies for top followers” and so on.
If you'd like to experiment with Google+ notification circles I highly recommend check out these two in-depth posts I shared earlier this year:
- Google Plus Opt-In Notification Circles Explained
- How to create a subscription model opt-in list in Google Plus
(3) Use Keyboard shortcuts
- J / K – Read next / previous post.
- N – P – Read next previous comment.
- / – Launch Google+ search.
- Check out more Google+ keyboard shortcuts here.
(4) Hangouts text formatting:
Did you know you can add formatting to your Google+ Hangouts messages (bold, italics, underline)? Did you also know that Google recently launched a new website dedicated for hangouts alone? Google Hangouts web app
(6) Create a Google+ poll
Google plus polls enable you to ask questions easily and add optional answers as comments below your post. Here's an example of a live Google+ poll, asking which comment system do you use on your blog?
(7) Tools to power up your Google+ experience
– Google+ profile statistics and a lot more.
Fun facts – Reactions to the 21 Google series on Google Plus:
Start over from the beginning: 21 Awesome Google Tips & Tricks
That’s it. The 21 Google Tips series is now officially over.
Thanks so much for following, commenting, sharing and engaging – I truly appreciate it. This has been such an enjoyable experience. Heading off to plan the next series of posts!