Suw wrote about the rollout of business pages for Google+, and I quickly saw a flurry of activity from news organisations. Al Jazeera quickly set up business pages for its channels and also some of its programmes, such as the social media program, the Stream.*
Muckrack has an excellent roundup on posts about Google+ and journalism. The links include articles by Caleb Garling on Wired about how Google+ posed a greater threat to Facebook pages than to Twitter and also from GigaOm’s Mathew Ingram who voiced concerns about linking journalists’ profile and their stories. The Muckrack post also a good list of news organisations that have set up their stalls on Google+. The number grew quite quickly after Google opened up Plus to businesses.
Jeff Sonderman at Poynter also has a good brief piece looking at how Fox News using Google+ Hangouts to interview Republican candidates. Broadcasters in the US and elsewhere are definitely using Hangouts, and I saw the English language channel of France 24 invite viewers to take part in a hangout in late September or early October.
Google+ vs Twitter vs Facebook (and vs LinkedIn)
I’m very curious about how to use Hangouts to engage audiences, and it’s good to see news organisations try to stay with audiences as they try out new social tools. As for Google+, I think it has potential, but as a user, it still hasn’t become an essential part of my day. As I said on Google+, this is why:
- Google+ is still a destination, and although I use a lot of Google products, it still doesn’t draw me back here.
- I travel a lot, and it’s not integrated into any of the tools that I use when I’m on the move, including apps like Gravity (or Tweetdeck or Seesmic).
- Even more importantly, Facebook and Twitter have great tools to use them with nothing more than SMS. No matter where I am, I can use it at very low cost. People can get messages to me. I can respond to comments or Twitter replies.
For that reason, Google+ still comes in fourth in terms of social media and networks behind Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
* Disclosure: I do digital and mobile journalism and social media training with Al Jazeera staff.