Ever since launch, we all knew that Google+ wasn’t going to be an overnight success.
But, right from the start, Google has been quick to communicate that Google+ as it exists today is not the end, it’s the beginning of a journey. That journey, as I see it, is to embed Google+ as the social fabric that extends across the web. It’s a phenomenal task, but the aim is clearly there.
“Our ultimate vision for Google+ is to transform the overall Google experience– weaving identity and sharing into all of our products.”
This is what Google promised at launch and it is slowly taking more steps in this direction. Google+ was given pride of place on the Google navigation bar awhile back. Google has incorporated social search into our daily surfing and +1 buttons appear across the web.
But phase two has been approaching recently. Google has, in the last few weeks, started to integrate elements of Google+ into its email product, Gmail. Not only can you now start Google Hangouts (one of the best features of Google+ in my opinion and one that could really take on the web/video conferencing market) directly from Gmail, but Google+ profiles are now appearing in Gmail and also in search results.
And then today, there are reports that Google has its sight firmly set on the enterprise with a series of further small additions to Google+. This includes the ability to share updates with employees within your company, in a nod to enterprise social networking.
Can Google take on the enterprise? Until now, the question has always been whether the company has the appetite. Google Apps certainly makes using Google easier for the enterprise, but to really succeed, I think it needs to learn how to package products and services together and make the experience more intuitive.
Small steps they might be, but it is yet another sign that Google isn’t slowing in its focus on what it believe is a social product that could secure its web future.