Essentially, Google Moderator is used to dig up the most important questions being posed any given time. This information can be essential for successful Web engagement. Google's new Moderator API (announced at Google I/O) enables developers to house the tool in their own applications, and the benefits of doing so can be seen in YouTube's recent adoption:
So Long, YouTube Comments
Forget the pesky overflow of comments or response videos. YouTube's integration of Google Moderator gives channel owners a whole new (and less spam-y) way to engage with their viewers:
In this example, Chef John of Food Wishes is simply asking his audience to submit their favorite summer recipe (notice the 'watch video' link in the upper right hand corner). Replies can be sent on the left via text or video, where they can then be reviewed and voted on by other viewers. This drastically reduces duplicate answers, and reveals what the majority of John's audience is interested in cooking.
Use this feature in, say, a large conference context, and it would be possible to know the most important topics to discuss before the meeting even starts. What a time saver.
For companies and YouTube channel owners alike, the integration of Google Moderator is a great way to develop a sense of community and conversational engagement--a pillar of WEM.
Up Your Marketing Game, Too
With Moderator as an API, brands can embed the module on their own websites with a small code snippet. Unfortunately, as far as we know the tool does not send alerts when a viewer has uploaded a comment. Regardless, plugging the technology in could form more concrete bonds with consumers.
Olivia Ma, news manager of YouTube's news and politics sector, called the module a "virtual focus group" for advertisers, because they can get immediate feedback on campaigns or product launches.
Adding Google Moderator to Your App
Adding the Google Moderator snippet requires iframes and, as we reported during Google I/O, you are limited to the existing interface. Using the API, however, will allow you to customize the integration.
Google Moderator is free to organizations with Google Apps, and can be found in the Google Apps Marketplace (but note that new API isn't available for versions used within Google Apps).