One interesting component of Google+ is Google's use of it for feedback and potential improvements. Google staffers are of course all over the new social networking "project," and much of their focus has been on outreach to users on how to "build a better Google+".
As you may know, the company will be launching brand pages this month, which should give the service more Facebook-like appeal for businesses, as well as those who like to follow brands.
Google "Ads Guy" Christian Oestlien asked users, "What features would businesses and advertisers most like to see on Google+?"
As you would imagine, there were plenty of responses, and quite a few good suggestions among them. You can check out the thread here to see who suggested what, but here are some of the best suggestions:
- Built-in analytics for company pages/profiles to see clicks and conversions
- Text-based filtering to eliminate certain kinds of posts (not unlike email filters)
- "Pages" should have same ranking as personal posts in the stream
- Mark as favorite or "star" feature
- Customized landing pages
- Expanding hangouts for larger groups
- Blogging comments tools
- "View all active hangouts" button so you can see who in your circles are "hanging out"
- Location-based geo-targeted Circles
- "Wish list" Circles for potential deals on products/services
- The ability to share a circle (would be like Twitter lists)
- Support for events
- Google+ integration with third-party sites
- Google Wave integration (Yes, Google killed it, but did say its technology could be used in other products)
- With Google Apps, the ability to set who can post as the company or manage the company page
- The ability to choose what type of advertising you see when it gets ads (which it no doubt will…Google does allow users to set ad preferences with Interest-based advertising)
- A polling/question app (wouldn't be surprised to see Google Moderator make an appearance)
- The ability for businesses to let fans add themselves to different circles that the business creates - based on different interests or categories (As one person pointed out, this would be helpful for news outlets that cover different areas)
- The ability to make some user Circles public that people can join on their own
- Live streaming for events
- The ability to search shared items and comments
- Discussions feature for business pages
- For business pages - tabs for different things like history, latest products, etc.
- User suggestions based on those talking about keywords that relate to company account
- Recordings for Hangouts with automatic transcription
- Signing of brand accounts by contributing employees
- Multiple sign-in for brand pages
- Google Maps integration
- More stream-editing controls
- Google Docs integration with Hangouts
There are plenty more where those came from, and I'm sure the thread will continue, along with other similar ones. Oestlien did appear enthusiastic about many of the suggestions, saying, "These comments are fantastic. Keep going!"
Separately, Mark Striebeck, Engineering Manager for the Gmail frontend took to Google+ to draw user feedback on how to best integrate Google+ with Gmail. He's sharing a Google Docs document with those interested in contributing ideas, and will be hosting a hangout on the subject tomorrow afternoon - another example of how the company is using its new social network as a big user feedback tool.