What if Google+ was never meant to be a social network in the traditional sense, and we’ve all been trashing its lack of success without fully understanding their intentions? I was going to put that on a Keanu Reeves meme, but it wouldn’t fit.
My point is, what if we’ve been measuring Google+ with the wrong yard stick? First we had MySpace, and Facebook came along and improved on that. Then Twitter came along and provided a slimmed down Facebook. And then Google+ came along and we didn’t fully understand it, because the only people using it were Google employees, early adopters, and people who wanted to improve their Author Rank.
Earlier this week, Google published a blog post in their Enterprise blog that revealed some interesting new features that might help shed some light on how the social network will unfold in the future.
They opened up the enterprise service to some pilot companies, and they’ve been using the new features for a few months. This report aims to outline their feedback and experiences to help companies adopt the new technology.
The new set of features is specifically designed for businesses, here’s a quick overview, and how they’ll find practical use within the business world. As more and more businesses are becoming mobile, social, and embracing the world at home culture, the need to stay connected is greater than ever before.
- Private sharing – So you can specify that you only want your status update to go out to people within your business network. If you want to ask a question, you would either have to ask your colleagues individually, or send an e-mail blast; now you can post it on your network and allow your work colleagues to reply in their own time without clogging their inbox.
- Video conferencing is now integrated with gmail, calendar, and documents. This example from the original post demonstrates how easy it becomes to schedule meetings and point the participants to the right documents up for discussion. Nothing short of genius.
- And finally, to make sure no one accidentally shares what they shouldn’t, there are administrative features that give users control over what they have access to on the network.
Charlene Li perfectly encapsulated why this venture will be an inherent success: “Google+ isn’t a destination — it’s a ubiquitous presence that’s always there and now all the more so if you’re a Google Apps user.”
Rather than trying to attract new users, they simply have to make new social and business functions available to those people who already use Google’s services. So maybe they never intended to compete with Facebook in the social playground, but positioned themselves by the professional water cooler instead.