Back in 2011, Google launched its mainstream social media platform called Google+ (Google Plus), in order to take on Facebook, the world’s most followed social media site. Google+ was Google’s attempt to mark its territory in the social media business. Back in 2011, social media hadn’t emerged as an influencer marketing or microblogging platform. Google’s research team, which not to mention is quite effective, might have foreseen the future, which led to Google+. However, after an initial taste of success, the plan backfired and led Google+ to shut down almost eight years after its launch. Now, soon after Google+ ‘s demise, Google has launched Currents, its next foray into organizational socializing. Will Google Currents would revamp the “social media presence” of Google in this networking business?
Google’ Early Forays Into Social Networking
For many people, Google+ remains the first venture into social networking; however, it was Google Wave
that first hit that road in 2009. Google Wave was a real-time document editor, which combined features of email and instant messaging to connect two or more people in a conversation simultaneously.
Google Wave allowed users to conversate in person or a group and exchange information. Moreover, it acted as a document editor, where people can share their opinions over a written piece by suggesting edits in it. However, Google Wave was discontinued the very next year and was ultimately shut down in 2012. Google Docs later succeeded Google Wave as a sole document creation and editing application.
Google Wave was then followed by Google Buzz, a proper networking site, which had everything that Facebook had to offer at that time. It included a friend list, photo-sharing options, and integration of the news feed with your Gmail Inbox.
The platform later integrated Picasa, Google Latitude, YouTube, Blogger, and Google Reader into its code and tasted huge success in the initial years. Later after a year, Google Buzz faced privacy concerns. Google was criticized for not able to improve the platform and users lost interest. The platform was shut down and was succeeded by Google+.
Google+ was supposed to be a major success, but Google’s back-to-back data breaches and its incompetency to do anything about it led to the quick shutdown of Google+. Since it ran for a comparatively longer time than its predecessors, it had a chance of getting back in the game. But Google neither improved the product, (except the 2015 update in design and experience) nor tried to compete on Facebook’s level.
Google now may have another chance at getting big at socializing.
Google Currents: What it is?
For beginners Google offers GSuite a range of applications for enterprise uses, which can help them maintain cloud storage of documents and administer and manage their operations. Number of applications from GSuite are available for Free for end users. GSuite registration, on the other hand allows enterprises to gain more storage over the cloud, gain a personalized webmail domain, personal security control over your enterprise domain, and access to GSuite Marketplace. Google Currents is another addition to the features that GSuite offers to enterprises, and it’s all in regard to workforce collaboration and communication.
Google Currents acts like an individual connecting portal for organizations, helping employees and leaders to engage in cross communications via posts and organizational updates. Every user, registered with the domain can access Google Currents and can post their opinions, news, or updates, which can be later commented on by other users and can be shared by them in their feed as well.
For leader-employees conversation, Google Currents can be a useful medium, where leaders can pin their posts in all feeds to increase its priority and can engage in direct communication with all at once. The leaders can share their posts with a “Spotlight” tag to make sure that it’s reached at top of all the user feed at Currents.
Google Currents has its own content management and administration guide. This can be handled by the leaders themselves to monitor the content stream on Currents, as well as ensuring important posts and updates reach all employees.
The platform has also integrated algorithms for reading hashtags to increase the visibility of posts and content in direct searches, just like microblogging platforms.
These are the features in list that Google Currents has to offer:
- Post/Content Creation and Sharing for organizational discussions and interactions
- Comments and Feedback on posts for better interaction
- Analytics for individuals to monitor the reach of their posts
- Priority to leader’s posts
- Tag Support
- Personalized Currents Content Management Portal
Where’d the Name Came From?
Google Currents would sound some old news at first because of its name. Google Currents was actually a social magazine application that Google developed for Android and iOS in 2011. The application was a news provider on mobile, which was later replaced by news aggregator application Google Play Newsstand. After the unsuccessful attempts of competing with other news aggregators, Google Play Newsstand was merged with Google News, initial news aggregator concept that Google developed back in 2002.
With Currents, Google is basically saving itself patent efforts over name and is recycling its previously discontinued brand with a new concept.
How to get Google Currents?
Google Currents is currently available in Beta and can be accessed on request by GSuite Admins. All the admins need to do is send a request mail on CurrentsBeta@google.com and ask for access on Currents. Simplest process ever.
A New Approach
This one’s not Google+, and it’s not meant for someone who is not running an enterprise, a community group, a discussion panel, or an educational institution. Google Currents is only useful for those who wish to connect over a topic or subject of discussion. That can be organizational subjects, social service, and health or medicine. This is an idea-sharing platform and not a place to flaunt your looks while you’re on vacation. So, it can’t be deemed as a competition to Facebook or Twitter. And honestly, Google should not venture there this soon as it has suffered a massive failure in that battlefield already. So, it’s good to have a new approach.
What Content Can One Expect on Currents?
We already have a number of open discussion portals on the internet and mobile phones both. Medium is the biggest example where people can interact on different subjects and engage in their blogging and writing interests as well. Quora is another similar platform, where users answer different questions with individual perspectives, leading to community interaction.
Here Google Currents already have competition, if it wants people to interact openly. The only place where Google Currents would be useful is at an organizational level. This means a limited number of members in one account and subject-specific interaction and opinions only. Plus, it’s hard to settle if the content-shared on organizational panels would be unbiased or would fill the organizational interests only. How Google Currents plan to rectify that is yet unknown.
Is it Feasible and Success Material?
Google has an old problem with these applications. Google launched all its previous platforms in beta mode and then have lost its way while updating these platforms. Google asks for developer and user support over the improvements but hardly is able to implement it in the right way.
Google Wave and Google Buzz were both available earlier in Beta, and none of them turned out to be the same as users expected. Google+ suffered a bad fate as well. And now, again, Google Currents is available in Beta, and again Google has gone down the same road. Google believes it can improve the product well if it involves people in it. But, never comprehends what people are asking for correctly, especially when it comes to networking.
So, Google Currents need to fill up a lot on that part.
Hopefully, Currents would not suffer the same fate as Google+ and others. But if Google fails at figuring its way out to brand itself as a credible networking platform provider, it would be taking a dip in the pit again.