Google+ has become one of the hubs of Google’s services outside of their core search brand. Virtually everything in the company’s cloud-based services, from Gmail to Drive to Docs, hovers around Google+ or can be seen as intimately connected to it. This web of interaction is what Google calls a “unified online identity” for users.
It has a lot of perks, to be sure, making many of these services integrated and often seamless. Those who’ve shared photos from their Docs folders to Google+ or saved video from a live stream they conducted as a Hangout know this well.
The recent integration of YouTube and Google+ in the comments area has had a rippling effect as some complained, but many heralded it as a boon. Why? Because the requirement of a “real” identity to comment meant that trolls often disappeared from videos whose owners enabled the option.
For Google, this has meant a more centralized approach to marketing, allowing them to create their “community partner” scheme which integrates media companies, celebrities, and so forth with their services in a more holistic way. One thing it’s certainly done is bring more unique content to G+ as a way of boosting its value overall.
As the company continues to evolve its social media platform to become a more all-encompassing offering for users, things will update. Recently, the ability to do basic photo editing in Google+ has had an impact on how users are sharing. Google’s expertise in search and relationship algorithms has also meant that they’ve been able to customize feeds automatically to suit the user’s known preferences. Another boon to G+.
The big news? They’re promising big changes to Hangouts this year. More broadcast feature development and, hopefully, better connectivity and enhancement will come this year. Better mobile integration is one thing Google has promised as being for-sure in 2014 in that regard.