I like the concept and what Google is trying to achieve. For businesses/marketers it would be silly to ignore Google+. Search is Google's main business and something that it's already mastered - throw social recommendations into the mix and Google is onto a winner. Once early adopter businesses start reaping the rewards of having a presence on Google+, the skeptical businesses will follow suit. Google+ in my opinion is an extension to Google's search arm. It will be a success - it's just a matter of time.
Google is also throwing everything at it. Hey journalists, have your picture next to an article if you have a Google+ icon. Hey advertisers, make a page, get more +1s to show next to your ads. Hey Google Reader users, now you share with Google Plus. And Google's only begun to drill baby drill into all the other bribes it can toss out.
Google+ isn't dead, regardless if that makes a fun, catchy attention grabbing headline. I wouldn't even say it's dying. I do at times see thing that make me think it has ebbs. Goodness knows it has a huge challenge to come anywhere near approaching Facebook's ubiquity.
But things generally have alternatives. Twitter isn't an alternative to Facebook, because Twitter is a very focused service that doesn't offer all that Facebook does (and that's no bad thing).
If you want a full fledged Portal 2.0, that's Facebook, the Yahoo of the 2010s. And if you want an alternative to Facebook -- which some people will -- that's what, mySpace? No, it's Google+, because who else will it be.
As Bing is to Google, so Google+ is to Facebook. Google+ is Facebook's Bing. It might not ever be as big, nor even rival the numbers, but being second place in a field of two can be nice.
It can especially be nice when unlike Bing, Google really doesn't have to toss away tons of money to build marketshare. No doubt, Google+ on its own would be a loss-making exercise right now. But as it helps Google shore up its weak social graph defenses, it'll probably prove well worth whatever's being spent -- even if it stays in second place.
(we just need more people on here!!!)
Today we're rolling out two new features: 1) real-time search results; and 2) improved hashtag support. Together, we're trying to make it easier to follow and contribute to live events on Google+, including breaking news, sporting events, and many others.
Now when you search in Google+, you'll see a message about new posts the instant they're available. If you click on this message, or select "Most recent", then relevant posts will start appearing in real-time.
Improved hashtag support
People have long used hashtags to mark their posts with certain topics -- just ask our very own , hashtag inventor. You don't have to use hashtags on Google+ (search works fine without them), but when you do, we'll automatically link to search results.
Check out the video to see both features in action, and let us know what you think in the comments! #googleplusupdate
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