Googles new Google+ social networking site has apparently been a grand success thus far; so much so that businesses, despite Google asking them not to, have been signing up in droves. Google has said for months that its working on a corporate version of its new site, but has been sketchy to say the least, on details about when that might occur.
Businesses, not willing to wait have been signing up for the regular personal accounts, prompting Google to delete them. Now however, in an announcement by Google group product manager Christian Oestlien in a blog post, it appears Google is responding to the onslaught by promising to speed up the development and release of the business version, and also by announcing that it will accept a select few interested businesses as a test group, promising to release the names of those selected by as early as next week.
Google+, a direct competitor to Facebook, is Googles latest attempt to reach out into the social networking realm. Past efforts, such as Google Buzz, Orkut, and Google Wave, werent able to gain traction and eventually fell away, but this time around, it looks like Google might have come up with a legitimate competitor, though if it does succeed will have quite a mountain to climb, as Facebook just very recently announced that is has 750 million active users worldwide, and is still growing, albeit mostly in countries that are not the U.S.
Businesses apparently see value in one aspect of Google+ in particular, the section called Sparks, which lets users type in an area of interest, and then provides them with a continues feed of sites about that particular topic when they save their topic to a list. Other parts of the site are more likely to be used by corporate employees as part of their job; creating Circles, for example, comprised of different work groups sounds like a very easy way to build usable org charts, and Hangouts could very easily replace in-person meetings or even regular video-conferencing.
The drawback here is that while the product is clearly well developed, its not completed, a fact the Google people keep reiterating. Because its still being tested, while being used, Google has put itself in a bit of a bind; theyve created a product that users obviously want, but are hesitant to unleash it to the world at large before theyre reasonably sure they have the kinks worked out. Theres also the insinuation by Google, as there seems to be for all of its products, that there are other features they plan to include in Google+ that no one outside of the company knows about.
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