It was only a matter of time before Google+ got ads, and that time has now come. Google product manager Eran Arkin announced in a Google+ post that the company's social layer is introducing something called "+Post Ads". These are basically promoted posts, but rather than just appearing on Google+, they appear throughout the Google Display Network.
For now, Google is just testing the ad format, which is probably why there wasn't a bigger announcement, but +Post Ads will make their way to more advertisers in time.
Here's what they look like:
"Brand advertisers want to create visually rich, compelling experiences online, which is why we’ve seen growing interest from advertisers in formats designed around engagement, like TrueView and Engagement Ads," says Arkin. "+Post ads allow a brand to take a piece of their public Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a Hangout, and with a few clicks, turn it into a display ad that can run across the more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream."
"Bringing together the sharing capabilities of Google+ and the reach of our ad products has already allowed advertisers to better connect with customers, and customers to better discover what others are thinking," he adds. "For example, showing social annotations on search ads has helped increase click through rates, and advertisers that ran Hangouts on Air in the YouTube masthead have seen strong participation. Similarly, +Post ads will allow advertisers to start conversations right from the ad - consumers can reshare a video, leave a comment or a question for the brand, or even join a live Hangout. These conversations create a valuable community around a brand where people can talk with each other and with the brand itself."
This could be the start of something big.
So far, Google is just testing +Post Ads with a select group of partners, including Toyota, and Cadbury UK. Google says these brands are seeing expansion rates 50% higher than the industry average for rich media ads.
Google says it plans to open the offering up to additional advertisers after a few months of testing and feedback.[via 9to5Google]