Google is aiming to increase the usefulness and adoption rate of Google+ through partnerships with various social media and social networking services, says independent IT analyst Jon Reed. Expect to see more such deals in the future, he says.
Google+ may not yet have the audience size of
Facebook or Twitter, but today's announcement that the site is partnering with social media news reader Flipboard
certainly help Google+ begin to accelerate its user base.
In a report on BusinessInsider.com
today, Bradley Horowitz, a Google+ vice president of product management, unveiled
the partnership plans with Flipboard
at a technology conference in London.
The deal will add users' Google+ news streams to the Flipboard app for iPhones
and iPads, joining similar streams of user content from Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn, Tumblr and Instagram
allows users to bring together all of these forms of content in one place on
their personal devices, making it easy to sort, read and review.
"Google is opening up its Google+ API to
give Flipboard users access to photos, videos, updates and more from the social
network, all within the Flipboard app," according to the report. That will
allow users to access Google+ posts without having to go view them on the site
itself using a browser.
No target date was announced for the new
feature to take effect, but it should happen soon, the report said.
The move is "a bit of
according to a report by VentureBeat.com
Google already offers its own homegrownthough not as flashydigital magazine
application, Google Currents
The growing popularity and cool factor of
Flipboard, though, could be another feature that might help Google+ chip away
huge disparity in users that the site has compared with Facebook and Twitter
Facebook has some 845 million worldwide users, compared with about 90 million
users for Google+, according to an earlier eWEEK
report. In comparison,
Twitter has about 200 million users.
Yet despite that vast chasm in users today,
the Google+ partnership with Flipboard is a good strategic move, said Jon Reed,
an independent social media and ERP analyst with JonERP.com
What Google+ is working to do, Reed said, is
to build a critical mass of users that will make the site much more relevant to
visitors every day.
"So far, it's just not a daily
destination site" for users, he said. In response, Google is working on
ways to make it more important to users, including business users, so that they
can interact more with Google+.
"What they're trying to do is to embed
Google+ into more [popular social networking and social media tools] to give
people more ways to stumble into using it," Reed said. "That's where
Flipboard comes in."
The Flipboard partnership will help make
Google+ content more accessible and therefore more important to users, he said.
"Google is in a great position where
they now won't have to hope that you show up some day on Google+ in the first
place," Reed said. "They wont need you to show up there because all
they have to do is find ways like this to push the information to you that you
are seeking. They already did that with Google user profiles, which are used
throughout Google. So now they'll continue to add things like Flipboard or
anything else down the pike so they can bring it all together."
Google has stumbled with some earlier
features, such as originally creating a Google Places feature that then morphed
into what's now called Google+ Local
Reed said. That transition confused some users, making them less likely to use
the feature and unintentionally diluting that user base. At the same time,
though, the new Google+ Local site created a better tool for local business to
connect directly with local users.
Now, though, the search giant can continue to
merge its varied tools together for users in ways that replicate the Flipboard
deal, Reed said. "Thats what I think Google+ is trying to do, to bring it
all together so more people see it all. Thats part of their strategy right