Google has recently unveiled a new API for its fledgling social network, Google+, which not only competes with Facebook’s Timeline feature, but may also have many marketers drooling over its potential.
Google+, the still-young social network from Google, has been struggling under the weight of expectations since it was first launched in June 2011. Google even stooped to automatically integrating users of its other services in order to keep sign-up numbers healthy after the service was universally panned.
Now, the internet search giant has introduced a new feature that is strongly reminiscent of Facebook‘s Timeline with the hope of improving their users’ engagement with the platform.
Called Google+ History, the new API allows users to add past statuses, photos, updates, purchases and whatever else you can think of. Google has also said that users will be able to pull this data directly from other social and mobile services that are linked to the account (Foursquare and Twitter are two likely examples).
The development creates an opportunity for developers and marketers alike, as it allows content to be pushed into the Google+ ‘stream’ in an easier, more controlled fashion. It could also have potential uses for market research, as users upload previous locations, experiences and products they have interacted with.
Whether or not the feature is widely adopted by the general public is a different matter, as its potential for use will depend on more than the hopes of digital marketers and developers.
For now the API has only been released in beta mode for developer testing, but if you’re keen, it is available for preview alongside supporting documentation.
What do you think? Is this just a take on Facebook’s Timeline features, or could this become an important digital marketing tool?