Google VP Announces News That Google+ Is Splitting Into 2 New Products: Photos & Streams

On June 28, 2011, Google launched their social network product – Google+. The Internet went crazy. Rumors flew around about needing to whip up a Google+ profile for your business because Google would, in turn, rank you higher. That may or may not have happened – but most likely did. Now, March of 2015, Google+ is changing again. And, the Internet, once again, has gone a little crazy. Fun fact: search volume for the keyword “Google+” is up 122%, month over month! So, with that, here’s the scoop:

The announcement

Follow StrataBlue on Google+ today!This week, Google announced that it was revamping its Google+ product, splitting the once all-inclusive social media platform into Hangouts, Streams and Photos. Soon after, many news outlets pounced on this news, proclaiming the end of a maligned platform that never saw as much use as Facebook or Twitter.

The thing is, Google+ isn’t going away. It might be called something else, but for those that still like posting updates and interacting with others socially will still be able to do so through Streams. Google may retool this area, as the concept of Circles and so on was never something that caught on with a majority of users.

Those that use Google Hangouts for chats, conference calls and video interaction will still be able to do so. Hangouts, in particular, is a strong component of the overall experience, as the free features it provides rival the paid experiences of many rivals like Skype, GoToMeeting, Lync, or even FaceTime.

Those that love the Photos feature of Google+ for automatically syncing photos from mobile and desktop, organizing them for you and allowing you to find them easily — that will still work too. I’ve tried a lot of photo backup solutions, and I still gravitate back toward Photos, because it integrates seamlessly with Android phones as if it were a native, offline photos app.

Using Google+ for social posting will still be important…

For those that want to get their message to the widest possible audience, streaming content on Google+ will still be important. Often, a public Google+ update will get a more favorable Google search listing than a comparable public Facebook post (and Twitter is only now going back to being re-indexed by Google). Many apps like Flipboard and HTC’s BlinkFeed still aggregate content from Google+, along with the other social networks, and I don’t expect that to change after the split.

Bottom line: Google+ got a bad rap, but whatever part of the social media network you still liked using will carry over — it’ll just be rebranded and might work a little differently. But, as with everything else Google has done, we will first complain, then adapt, and begin to find effective ways to leverage their changes.

Follow StrataBue on Google+

The digital marketing team at StrataBlue will also adapt and learn about ways to leverage Google’s new version of their social network(s). Feel free to drop us line if you want to talk – click here to fill out an online form now. Or, stay connected with us by following our own Google+ page! Click the image below to connect!

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Twitter Photos Get Social

If you’ve updated the Twitter app on your Android or iPhone, you might have noticed that Twitter has added some upgrades.

With an emphasis on visual marketing, Twitter photos now have two new features: now offers two photo features: tagging people and sharing multiple photos in one tweet. Both of these features will display in embedded tweets, but don’t worry, they won’t take away from your 140-character limit. Both new features will also display in embedded tweets.

Tag up to 10 People in a Photo: Instead of wasting characters tagging someone in a tweet, you can now simply tag them in a photo. This can make conversations about photos fun and easy, and it doesn’t affect the character count. If you don’t want to be tagged in photos, you can adjust that in your Settings. To tag someone in a photo, tap “Who’s in this photo” and type in a full name or @username. That’s it!

Share up to Four Photos in One Tweet: The new Twitter collage lets you share up to four photos in a single tweet. When it appears in your timeline, it will show up in a shareable preview collage. Here is a great example of how one user tested out the new feature:

twitterphotocollage

So how can you harness the power of the new Twitter photo features? Here are four examples of ways to use them for business:

  • Offer a content preview. If you want people to sign up for an email list or click on a landing page, create a photo collage that gives your audience a sneak peek of what they’ll get if they give you their information. If there is an attractive incentive, your customers will be more likely to give you their email or other information.
  • How-to photos. It has been proven that how-to videos are wildly popular (take a look at Lowe’s Fix in Six Vine videos), so why not use this same idea with photos? Show your audience how to do something related to your industry in four photos, which will hopefully lead to them checking out your website or blog.
  • Contests. Use a photo collage for a Twitter contest. Have your audience submit photos for a contest, but then let Twitter pick the final winner! Showcase your top four submissions in a photo collage and have your audience decide who the winner is. This not only gets your more engagement but it lets your audience know that you care about their opinion.
  • Ask for feedback. Let’s say your business is going through rebranding and you would like to get your customers’ feedback on the new design. A photo collage is a great way to put up ideas you’re toying with and get a free poll from your audience.

As of now, these features are only available via mobile, but hopefully desktop will catch up soon! Have you tried out these new Twitter features yet? We want to know how you have used the new Twitter photo features, let us know in the comments section!