Today on my routine visit to the Google homepage, I encountered a giant arrow pointing to the shortcut to Google +. Considering Google rarely promotes anything on their homepage, (including their own products) this came as quite a surprise. I guess Google is ready to go all out to promote their new social network and lucky for them they have the world’s most popular search engine to help them. Below are the new Google + updates you can now expect to see.
Hangouts On Air lets you broadcast your session to a large audience, and subsequently alternatively view as a spectator. Great for businesses looking to broadcast. Just start a hangout like always, but this time you’ll see the option to broadcast and record your session. It’s still limited to 9 users joining your hangout but anyone can watch your live broadcast:
Hangouts has new added features. According to the official Google blog, these are:
Hangouts with extras: Docs (left), Named Hangouts (right)
Simply click “Try Hangouts with extras” in the green room once you start a hangout.
Good news for developers, Google now have limited Hangouts APIs, for more details on how to get started, check out Google+ platform blog.
Google has just launched their first API for Google +. Right now it is limited to public data, but this is great news not only for developers but for users. Look out for third-party apps that helps users make the most out of Google + (a.k.a Google Plus), in the same way that third-party Twitter tools like Hootsuite, TweetMeme and Bit.Ly have made life a lot easier for businesses promoting through Twitter.
Finally, Google is leveraging their search expertise for Google +. The official Google blog explains:
“If you’re into photography, for example, then you’ll see other enthusiasts and lots of great pictures. If you care more about cooking, then you’ll see other chefs and food from around the globe. In all cases, Google+ search results include items that only you can see, so family updates are just as easy to find as international news”.
Search in Google+: photography (left), cooking (right)
Google + has released these updates in the midst of recent Facebook tool & Twitter tool updates. Since Google + is now available to everyone, it’ll be interesting to see if they can regain the momentum it had when it first launched and steal the attention away from its rivals again.