Changes as Google+ is released in open beta
Google’s social platform Google+ is finally available on open release, with all Google users now able to set up an account without the requirement of an invitation from a pre-existing user. After approximately two months in closed beta mode anyone can join and it will be an interesting few months to see if the initial rate of interest in Google+ continues.
We’ve used Google+ and it’s a pretty impressive social platform – it seems to have all the major bases covered to offer a real alternative to Facebook. In July, we published an article suggested Google+ is better than Facebook and the gradual introduction of Google+ and the Google +1 button has given it a really solid platform to challenge Facebook in future years. We’ve already seen that Google+ is expected to surpass Twitter and become Facebook’s main challenge in the social media arena by the end of 2012.
Interestingly Google has opted to change the name of the Huddle group chat function – it will now be known as Messenger, which is sure to impress their rivals at Microsoft.
Google +1 heading for display advertising
Another new feature of Google+ sees the introduction of the Google+1 button on display advertisements. The +1 button has been available on organic Google search results and on Google AdWords and clocks up over 4 billion impressions per day. Now the reach of Google’s social platform goes beyond other social media efforts into the world of display ads.
The +1 button will, by default, be added to display ads such as image and flash ads on both web and mobile browsers and advertisers must opt-out of having the +1 button displayed on your ad.
How does this affect Australian businesses?
From a business perspective, the heightened competition in social media seems to be bringing everything closer together online. Display ads, as well as PPC and organic SERP listings can now be measured in terms of social relevance and adds value to extending your online presence through social channels.
If you can build a social media presence through Google+, Facebook and Twitter, you have the opportunity to put your product or service within sight of more of your target market on a recurring basis – and at a cost far lower than traditional advertising.