Steve Grove, Director of Community Partnerships at Google+, has some big ideas about the nature of Google+. In an interview with LiveMint he talked about where the service is going, how celebrities could grow the service, and how G+ is the new Google.
Anyone who has used a Google product this year, and isn’t necessarily a G+ user, has seen its influence creep over the rest of the company’s services. The YouTube comment integration was handled horribly, and the company even canned Google Reader, likely in the hopes that G+ could become your new feed to read.
Grove sees the integration as a way to connect your personal browsing experience to everything – even your searches will bias content from G+. “Search also shows results from Google+ and this is going to bring more people into Google+; people are going to see that there’s a lot of value in logging into our service,” he says.
It seems G+ is being set up as a lynchpin at the centre of all Google services. Some users are worried about the associated power creep, but Grove thinks G+ is a have a civilizing effect. “The fact is that the username, JellyBean407, that’s a very different mindset, and the person who’s making the comment, they would never troll with their real name.” You can make your own mind up about that one.
Celebrities get a lot of coverage on social media and can often be the main driver users signing up for a service. Everyone wants to know what Bieber, Gaga, or LeBron James are up to. “The community partner scheme brings in media companies, celebrities, sports stars and more,” Grove says. “We want to bring interesting people to the platform, to generate content.”
Google has revolutionized a lot of things over the years and Grove sees that continuing with G+. “Google+ could do for live video, what YouTube did for recorded video.” Hangouts are a powerful tool for sharing and distributing video, and the YouTube comparison is pretty apt: everyone can have immediate free access, as long as they have a camera hooked up to the internet.
Google+ is growing by the day, and it’s become a thorn in the side of more established social media sites. Then again, it’s been a thorn in the side of many long term Google users too. Let’s just hope that Google, in its dogged attachment to G+, doesn’t do for all of its services what it did to YouTube comments.
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