YouTube + Google+ = Engagement?
Google hasnâ€™t had much trouble getting people to sign up for its Google+ social networking service. But getting people to come back every day and use the service as obsessively as they do with Facebook has been a trickier proposition.
Sure, Google says that more than 3.4 billion photos have already been uploaded by users on Google+, but as anyone whoâ€™s been on the service can plainly see, there just doesnâ€™t seem to be the same frenetic level of user activity as there is on Facebook.
Thatâ€™s where YouTube comes in.
On Thursday, visitors to Google+ were greeted with a small YouTube logo button, displayed prominently on the top right-hand side of their newsfeed. Click on the YouTube Logo and it slides open to reveal a text box asking â€śwhat would you like to play?â€ť
Type the name of a singer or musician– or any topic, from bocce ball to barbeque — and a YouTube video begins to play in a pop-up window, with a playlist of related videos queued up and ready to go.
Users can quickly share videos they like with their friends on Google+, and friends who watch a shared video on Google+ can quickly tap into the related playlist.
In a blog post announcing the feature, Google head of social Vic Gundotra described it as â€śshipping the Google in Google+.â€ť
YouTube is one of Googleâ€™s most successful assets. And watching videos on YouTube is one of the most popular online activities â€“ more than 3 billion videos are viewed every day and 800 million people visit the YouTube website every month, according to YouTube.
If Google can get just a fraction of those people to satisfy their YouTube habit from directly within Google+, and then get them to share some of those videos with others on Google+, the companyâ€™s social network might not seem like such a quiet place.