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There was a lot of hearsay about Google Plus being dead. Last week I wrote a post on here about how Plus may have been overhyped in the beginning, but not dead. I hate to say I told you so.... Google announced yesterday some major changes, most of which directly related to Google Hangouts. I don't want to regurgitate anything Mashable, Tech Crunch or (insert tech marketing blog here) have already reported but here's the dime tour of what to expect:

  • Google Hangouts "On Air." It will allow only 10 people to Hangout still but a large audience will be able to view that particular show. Should be a game changer in podcasting. Also could make this little experiment we did with GoRankem at Engauge out of date.
  • Mobile Hangouts: if you have an Android with a front facing camera, you can now join a Hangout from your mobile fun. My wife and I tried it out last night (yep we're both nerds) and it works pretty well. The downside is you can't initiate a Hangout from your phone
  • Sharing on Hangouts: you can now share your screen, Google Docs and even have a doodle board to collaborate on with others that you are Hanging out with in addition to YouTube videos.
In addition, G+ released their API and opened up to everyone...which means Google Plus now directly impacts your Klout score as of yesterday.
Timing is Everything
Remember when Google Plus came out? Its key, differentiating feature from Facebook was Hangouts. Ironically, it came out just days before Facebook announced their video chatting feature. Hmmmm....
Then this week, on the heels of f8, a conference rumored to have the biggest impact on how we use Facebook since...well ever and Google just happens to roll out upgrades to their platform that people have been begging to use for months. Google has even gone as far as tapping into Will.i.am tonight to demo what a Google Hangout "On Air" looks like before launching it to the public. The night before f8.
Coincidence? You tell me.
If You Don't Like Facebook's Changes, There's Always Google Plus
That's basically the marketing message that Google Plus is driving. Nobody calls them a Facebook killer and they may deny it but you can't help but assume that their product rollouts are a full frontal assault on the Facebook market. It'll take forever to reach Facebook's critical mass and truly be a competitor. However, people don't like a lot of change. This week will see a LOT of changes to the Facebook platform. Even the changes today have seen a ton of criticism.
It's where Google is coming in. There's already been Twitter chatter saying "these Facebook changes are making me love G+ even more." Not that it will be huge shift but I do expect more people to shift over. With the ability to share docs and screens in Hangouts now, I see G+ being a much more relevant tool for B2B marketing.
That said, I can't wait to see what f8 rolls out tomorrow. I like the new changes already since the newsfeed now rewards good content even more. I feel like Facebook is transitioning itself from being a social network to a purely media consumption site.
Google Plus. Facebook. What are your thoughts on everything going down this week?
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