Earlier this week, Google+ rolled out a new feature called Google+ Communities, which is identical to Facebook Groups. Google+ users can create public or private communities that are focused on a particular topic from interests to local neighbourhoods to disco nights.
They are aimed at helping users engage with other users and to crowd around common interests and meet new people with similar mindset.
When creating a public community, Google+ users can set a moderator approval requirement before another user can join the community. Google+ users can hide a private community from the search function within Google+.
One can give it a name, a tagline, and a group icon representing the community.
In the About section, Google+ users can create a set of guidelines for the community in addition to discussion topics for example assigning a discussion topic to the content.
In addition to the content feed, members of a Google+ community have the ability to start video hangouts with other community members as well as create events for the group. Users can also share their community from any +1 button across the web.
Google plus communities enable brands, thought leaders, experts to create common interest groups of loyal fans allows brands to talk in a less commercial way. From a commercial perspective, these communities will help Google can tap into this interest niche with targeted ads.
Google+ being one of the fastest growing social network in the world, is still far behind Facebook and LinkedIn.
It is not just another social network trying to compete Facebook and LinkedIn groups but it is arguably the biggest impact on Google’s search result at the moment.
Rather than competing with other social networks, Google Plus gains more user data intertwined with other Google products. This in turn improves its search and ads businesses.
In a nutshell, there is no way you can ignore Google Plus Communities before it starts impacting search even more heavily.