Google+ has finally cornered the business market, by adding a host of new business features. While it’s all but failed as a social network, could Google+ be salvaged by becoming a force to be reckoned with in the business world? Today, I’m going to talk about the new business features that have the internet buzzing.
The Enterprise Surprise
Perhaps Google+ has finally realized that it will never be the ‘next’ Facebook – whatever has happened, Google+ may finally be heading in the right direction.
Google+ already sparks business interest because of its ‘SEO’ potential, but now with new features like restricted posts for app customers – which gives businesses the power to control who sees their posts – more businesses are sitting up and taking notice.
The app market is growing, and competition is one the rise. Microsoft just bought Yammer for 1.2 billion dollars, so Google+ is looking to reclaim some of the market. Recently, Google has been downplaying its similarities to Facebook, instead calling itself an ‘upgrade.’
Interesting tactic, seeing as when Google+ was launched there were millions of people all over the internet who said that it was built to be a direct challenge to Facebook. You have to admire the resilience of a platform that re-invents itself after initial ‘failure.’
The ‘enterprise’ version of Google+ will be a social network for businesses. People will be able to communicate on this platform, outside of email, at work. At least, that’s the idea.
Google Apps certainly has the juice to compete with Microsoft’s ‘Yammer’ and perhaps even more established business networks like LinkedIn.
A Few Fancy New Features
• Video meetings integrated with gmail, docs and calendar
• Admin controls for business users
• Company specific viewing of certain posts
• Google+ calendar integrated directly with Hangouts
Right now, these features are free until the end of 2013, says Google. This makes me worry that someone deep in the bowels of Google is going to monetize the heck out of these features in the future. That’s one way to permanently end this social network.
Unless Google can get millions of people using Google+ compulsively at work, demanding money for their services will NEVER work. Google may be a great business platform, but it could easily be ruined by over-ambition or money-grubbing.
These features are only available to Google apps customers by the way, so it may not be ideal for the small business with 0 investment.
Time will tell whether this bold move by Google will pay off. Personally, I think it’s a nod in the right direction. Google+ is great with apps, and its SEO potential is invaluable.
On SEO alone, Google has already snagged some business platforms. Small businesses are using it, strictly for that. But as I said, this could go one of two ways. Either it’s an excellent play by Google, or another desperate attempt to make Google+ relevant before it fizzles out.
Do you like the new Google+ enterprise features, and will they make you use Google+ more often? I want to hear it from you!