A lot has been said and written about Google+’s future, possibilities and roadmap. Is it a social networking site like Facebook, or maybe it’s like Twitter and so on. Comparing Google+ with any of the existing social platforms will be immensely undermining the potential of what Google can do with its social arm. The impact can be way beyond the obvious and not limited to social networks; evident from some of the feature launches in the last four weeks.
The real value-add from Google+ is in moving social at the helm of every Google service out there. Google’s value proposition is a package that combines:
- Google services integrated across channels with social at its core
- Cloud services – big virtual data storage that brings all of it together
- Data security and availability – a sense of comfort we all need before we open our personal and social world to Google
This combination can re-define the way we collaborate in our personal and professional lives, with businesses being a key component.
What is the big deal about the services and Google+? What does it mean?
A quick view of the different services within Google+ are no brainers: Hangout, Circles, Sparks, Stream, Huddle, Location, Instant Upload, Google Music and so on. Nothing out of the ordinary – yet. All are great, and we understand what we do with Circles, Hangout etc. But this is where Google flips the coin. Let’s review how it can impact our world the moment it’s leveraged as an organized world of integrated services:
Personalized & Contextual Content on Google TV
- View what your friends and circles are watching
- Invite or share your favorite movies and episodes with your network
- Create your movie library in the Cloud, with the ability to access across multiple televisions and even homes
- View most “liked” or most “disliked” movies, episodes by circles or beyond. This gives you access to real-time ratings and reviews on TV – no more searching on the Web.
Targeted Ad Serving – More Accurate and Relevant than Before
Nothing new here, but imagine pulling real-time data from Google+, including your “likes”, posts, streams and behavior on the Web, to identify the most relevant ads and offers across the Web, mobile and TV. For example: You love football. An offer for next Sunday night’s game comes on your TV while you’re watching sports. Google’s acquisition of Clever Sense, a personalized recommendation and predictive search engine, opens up new avenues including a future integration with Google Schemer as well.
Business and Enterprise Applications – Google Apps
Redefining MS Office 365? If content is virtually stored and most easily accessed across devices, it is easy to imagine practical applications for business uses including:
- “Hangout” or video conference through meeting invites to your circles and beyond
- Sending invitations to everyone who is working on particular projects or in certain departments/groups
- Creating distribution lists on the fly where you can select your sub-network from Circles
- Creating dynamic circles based on behavior and data patterns across the social network – dynamic circles could be used for targeted collaboration and messaging
- Easy and seamless collaboration, document sharing, workflow management across circles
Google Search on Steroids
- Find people through the same Google search using public info from user’s Google+ profiles and possibly search by behavior and patterns
- Search public documents in the cloud by metadata, using Circles or beyond to narrow down results
- Search your social activities from the past (i.e. where did I dine on November 20th?)
- Search in the cloud will make every public piece of information accessible with a single action
Mobile – Using an Android Device
- Auto populate and connect your phone directory with existing users on Google+
- Shows current status of people from your Google+ directory (i.e. “busy” if they are in a meeting)
- Photo ID for incoming phone calls and brief profile info on the Android screen, if the caller has a Google+ profile and an Android phone
- Notifications sent on the phone the moment someone in your circle has an open spot in the calendar
What else with the cloud?
You are able to leverage the cloud across channels and devices. This allows you to work on a document on your PC, pull it up on a Samsung tablet, or read through it on your phone. You can keep a record of your social history with all your contacts on Google+. And with Google’s storage and query capacity, all the public, searchable data within, and out of, the circles is a click away.
The extent of these possibilities will depend on the level of access each individual provides to his/her own data. Some may be more complex than others to implement. Despite all that, Google still enjoys a pretty unique spot in the market space right now. Sure there are other tools with all these functions, but the real impact is in a truly “INTEGRATED” suite that will make your personal and professional worlds a lot smaller.