Google : Adding a plus

A self-serving news feed is still of wider interest.

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The Site

Google, the US-based online search company, uses a proprietary feed to send news and updates to investors. Google features a Google+ link on its Investor relations home page that leads to a dedicated Google+ page showing the timeline of posts since the feed was launched in July 2012, with the most recent at the top. The posts cover a range of company and product news, including calls for results presentations. The prominent sign-up button for Google+ at the top of the page is highlighted as the way to ‘follow Google Investor Relations’. As of 5 March the page indicated 3.759 followers had added the feed to their ‘circles’.

The Takeaway

It’s hardly surprising that Google offers its proprietary Google+ service as its dedicated news feed for investors. In its war with Twitter (among others) it’s not going to showcase – or give space to – anything else. But leave that aside and what is on view is a smart and useful example of how a ‘social’ channel can enhance corporate communications. The mix of content goes well beyond supporting the financial calendar (though it does that well enough) to cover news of product developments – ‘sunsets’ as well as launches – and executive thinking that is of genuine interest to analysts and shareholders. The fact that the service has attracted a sizeable circle of followers in the nine months since its launch suggests it has traction. Still, users have to sign up for Google+ itself, which may feel too much like a pressure-sell to some. And whether it will start appearing on other companies’ investor pages has to be open to doubt in the absence of any ‘killer’ edge over other better-established options.
First published 05 March, 2013
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