This week in Google Land we talked about some easy ways to engage with your audience via Plus, as well as Chrome's significant growth and a nifty Blogger integration.
Plus is an increasingly competitive offering in this space because it combines the concepts of all our favorite platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn) into one Google-infused package. At the same time, it aims to do away with limitations— so how do you get the best from the best? The answer, of course, is simple.
Circles: One of the greatest things about Plus is the Circles feature because it provides the ability to easily pigeon-hole your sharing. This way, even though your stream of content might look like it belongs to someone with multiple personalities on your end, the people you are connected to will only see the content that is relevant to them. This directly affects engagement/experience, making it possible to have conversations with several different people about several different topics without disrupting the flow of information for everyone that follows you.
Add People: Facebook has become extremely personal. Long gone are the days where I’d accept a random add from someone, because access to my Facebook profile directly translates to access to my entire personal life. Plus is different in this way. Because it’s a combination of several different network concepts, it’s perfectly acceptable to go around adding people from all walks of life. Take advantage of this.
Rich Conversations: I know you’ve probably gotten used to the 140 character limit when sharing breaking news or important product updates, but this is a great time to get over that. Posting a meaningful, paragraph-length blurb is more likely to inspire meaningful, paragraph-length responses. Plus, if your conversation starters are consistently rich in nature, so will be your reputation.
Plus: Clicking the Plus button is like clicking the Like button, but with less commitment. While the word ‘like’ indicates that you actually like something, ‘plussing’ content allows you to share it without necessarily agreeing. It’s a softer approach to interactions much like adding people to Circles is a softer approach to connection, and less intimidation equals more engagement. So surf through the content in your Circles and Plus away. Once you do that, the people you follow will feel more inclined to reciprocate.
In an attempt to attract a wider range of businesses and educational establishments, Google has adjusted its Chromebook subscription model to include an annual payment option.
Previously, the Internet giant offered a three-year subscription model, but in the four short months since launch, many prospective customers made it clear that their yearly budget cycles made the three-year option less viable.
The new payment option was introduced by Glenn Wilson, product manager, Chrome for Business & Education, via blog post:
This new option gives schools and businesses a choice to pay upfront for Chromebooks with one year of access to the web-based admin management console, phone support, and hardware warranty coverage. After the first year, customers can choose to pay a monthly fee for years two and three for management console access and support.
The Internet giant's Chrome browser has hit 30% share of web browser usage and as it continues to rise, new and improved features keep appearing, the latest being a revamp of the app store.
Over the last couple of months, Google Chrome has continued to eat into Firefox's lead as most popular desktop browser, with the gap down to just 9.2% in September according to one measure. Both are leaving Internet Explorer, Safari and others trailing in their wake.
Sure, other browsers can match a lot of the functionality but Chrome seems to be adopting the app/cloud lifestyle we're used to faster than its rivals. And, Chrome is likely to become the Android browser of choice sooner rather than later.
If that happens, then a Chrome-based universe could rapidly become the place of choice for a high-quality true-cloud user experience, built organically and neatly around the user's needs, rather than thrust upon us by lock-in-happy vendors.
Google+ to Integrate with Blogger
Everything is connected! Including Google+ and Google’s blogging platform, Blogger. According to the official post:
Today we’re excited to announce the first way you will be able to leverage Google+ -- by making it possible to replace your Blogger profile with your Google+ profile. In addition to giving your readers a more robust and familiar sense of who you are, your social connections will see your posts in their Google search results with an annotation that you've shared the post.
Plus, bloggers who switch will automatically get access to the Google+ integrations we’ll be rolling out in the future.
Alex Chitu of the unofficial Google news source speculates that this integration will be used to introduce more social features that have been provided in the past by Google Friend Connect (seemingly obsolete since the arrival of Plus).
Any more ideas? Drop them in the comments below.