Google is integrating new services into Google+, says Clint Boulton. That should help in its bid to catch up with Facebook
Mastracci went digging in Google+ code and learned that Voice, Apps, a Facebook Wall-like feature and something called Google Experts are all on the way.
Google Voice, with which users would be able to make calls from Google+ that don’t display their phone number, would be a nice unified communications complement to Google+ Hangouts Web conferencing.
Google+ phone calls a good move
And Google Apps? Forget about it. Apps users have been screaming since the public beta launch that they weren’t included in that. My feeling is Google wants to nail the Google+ security model for administrators before they open the network to the 40 million Apps users.
Experts is interesting. Mastracci compared it to Quora in concept, which means it could also resemble Facebook Questions and perhaps be a new home for the failed Google knol expert Q&A service.
Keeping us interested
Google is making all of the right moves to boost user engagement. In addition to integration with Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps, Google in less than three months made over 100 feature improvements to Google+, the latest being shared Circles.
That’s one a day, a staggering pace for such a large company. Google may have nearly 30,000 employees and is 13 years old, but it’s not acting that way – well, at least not when it comes to Google+.
How pervasive will Google+ become? If it were up to Google, it would become a top destination on the Internet, rivaling the user engagement relished by Facebook, which – if you’ve seen this graphic from Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney – is quite impressive.
But it’s not right now, even with the recent boost in the user base due to the social network’s launch to open beta last week. Allegedly close to 50 million people now have a Google+ account. Only 750 million users to go to catch Facebook.
How many people are actively sharing is another matter. I’ve personally been followed, or Circled, in Google+ parlance over 1,000 times in the last week since the launch from limited field test to public beta.
Yet many of those users haven’t posted much – let alone filled out their Google+ profiles – which is a problem.
Still, there are more than 1 billion Google searchers. If Google can get the majority of them to extend their search and other Google Web service patronage to Google+, the social network will be a smash success.
Continued integration with existing services is key.