Google really wants people to use its newly opened-to-all and refreshed Google+ social network.
So much so, that is has basically offered the equivalent of a house ad on its homepage for all to see:
The cloudy blue sketch points to the Google+ link, where existing users will get whisked away to Google+ profile. New users will be asked to create an account.
The red arrow is my own addition to point out Google's link the Google+ profile of Blackeyed Peas frontman will.i.am, who is hosting a Google+ Hangout tonight at 9 p.m. EDT:
Hangouts is the company's group Web conferencing app that lets up to 10 users conduct a chat together on Google+. It's pretty popular among the Google+ faithful, and had gotten some significant improvements.
The sketchy blue arrow and the promise of a will.i.am Hangout are little things Google is doing to convert more of its 1 billion Google.com searchers to Google+ users, of which there are about 30 million,
Will it work? Who knows? It can only help. I'm not buying the meme that Google+ is a ghost town. Neither are others.
Royal Pingdom called Google's + ad a power move, adding:
"No other company can cast its net this wide by just modifying its home page. We all use Google. It's like your TV remote suddenly coming alive and telling you that yeah, you should check out that Google+ thing."
Fair point. When Google does advertise on its homepage, it's usually limited to the link under the search box, which in this case links to will.i.am.
Earlier this month, Google pointed users to a Google Offers deal in New York City, but there were no glitzy art flourishes to accentuate the deal.
I hope Google+ gets more users and thrives. It's a fun network and a great place to connect with people. Google is investing heavily, pumping out over 100 new features and incremental improvements in less than 3 months since the network's inception.
Whether you call it copycatting or cat-and-mouse, the company is playing for an important part of the Web versus Facebook.