Poor Google+. Of all the social media networks, it’s had the hardest time gaining traction, and there have been repeated reports of an impending demise. Google hasn’t been shy about retiring slow-starting or even popular products before (Remember Google Reader?) so the expectation that the plug would be pulled on Google + doesn’t seem all that unreasonable.
However, Google seems determined to make their social network work. They’re currently rolling out “Collections,” a feature designed to make Google+ more Pinterest-like. Currently available in beta to Android device users, the Collections feature includes boards to organize images, videos, and other visual content with a fairly spacious area to add your own comments. To get you started, Google+ has prepped the site with theme channels pre-populated with content you may find appealing. Additionally, you can follow channels created by other users who share content you enjoy, and be likewise followed.
We know that Google+’s user base has been primarily male and affluent to this point; interestingly enough, this same demographic has begun making use of Pinterest in increasing numbers lately. Adventure travel, survivalist tips and DIY projects have dominated the types of content shared and collected by men on Pinterest; it will be interesting to see if these themes carry over to Google+ or if the collections created there will follow different themes. Google is suggesting users use the Collections feature for inspiration, to create designer-style mood boards, as well to organize ideas and concepts when planning projects or events.
If Google+ has been part of your marketing mix thus far, you’ll want to think through how the Collections features will work best for you. If you’ve been hanging back from Google+ because you weren’t sure how it fit for your brand, it’s well worth watching to see if the Collections feature transforms Google+ into a site your customers are using. If it does, it may be time to consider giving Google+ a try.