White House sets up official Page on Google Plus
Several federal agencies have established beachheads on Google social network
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Jan 20, 2012
The White House is the latest federal agency to join Google Plus, joining on Jan. 20 and already signing up more than 4,200 fans by mid-afternoon.
The new White House Google Plus Page promises to deliver news, behind-the-scenes photographs and videos and the opportunity for selected fans to engage in a live video chat with administration officials in Google Hangouts.
Google search change could hamper access to government info
The hangouts are typically limited by Google to 10 members at a time. However, for the White House chats, the public will be invited into those Hangout sessions as well via a live video feed, according to a statement on the White House Google Plus Page.
“Even if you’re not ‘in’ the Hangout, you can watch the whole thing live on WhiteHouse.gov, on our Google Plus page or on the White House YouTube channel,” the statement said.
Google started the Google Plus service in July as a late-comer to the social media scene. It offers users an opportunity to create a profile, join and create “circles” of friends and public subscribers, and to broadcast and receive messages, photos, videos and other content to and from those circles and into Google Search.
In early January, Google began integrating Google Plus content into the top of its search results. That move led to speculation that government agency Web content may get less attention in Google search.
One way for federal agencies to counteract the potentially diminishing traction on Google search is to create their own Google Plus pages, according to recent U.S. Navy guidance issued about Google Plus. However, the Navy also cautioned federal agencies against moving too quickly in joining Google Plus because the service is still evolving and there are uncertainties about whether it will reach a critical mass of users.
Google Plus, as the newest social network, has been attracting a number of federal agencies, including NASA, U.S. Marine Corps, Defense Department, State Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Many federal executives and employees have joined as well as individuals.
President Barack Obama’s campaign also has joined Google Plus, with 264,000 Plus subscribers including Obama in their circles of contact.
While Google Plus' membership is still dwarfed by Facebook's 800 million membership, Google officials announced this week there are 90 million users that have created accounts on Google Plus. Google officials also said 60 percent of those users are active daily on at least one Google service, which could be Google Plus or could be search, calendar or other service.
The White House now has its own Google+ page and you can check it out here. The page was opened this morning, just under an hour ago and currently has been added to 1300 circles.
The page is opened up with a statement from the administration that explains what it will be posting on the site. This includes behind-the-scenes photos and videos, as well as Google Hangouts with staff. These will be posted on the page as well as broadcast on the White House YouTube channel and at WhiteHouse.gov.
Welcome to the White House on Google+! Here you’ll find news from the blog, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, plus chances to engage with administration officials. One feature we’re really excited about are Hangouts. On our Google+ page, we’ll host regular White House Hangouts with administration officials on topics ranging from the economy to technology. Some Google+ users will be invited to join the Hangout with the White House and have a conversation with policy experts. But the best part is that even if you’re not “in” the Hangout, you can watch the whole thing live on WhiteHouse.gov, on our Google+ page or on the White House YouTube channel.
The post also asks the readers of the page to leave a post with what they would like to see from the page in terms of content and the people that they would like to see in Hangouts. It has also used a clever Google+ gallery trick (which we’ve seen before) to present Congress in session to the right of its logo.
Welcome to the White House on Google+! Here you’ll find news from the blog, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, plus chances to engage with administration officials. One feature we’re really excited about are Hangouts. On our Google+ page, we’ll host regular White House Hangouts with administration officials on topics ranging from the economy to technology. Some Google+ users will be invited to join...
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The White House Joins Google+ | The White House
Add your voice to the discussion on the new White House Google+ Page where you’ll find news, behind the scenes content, and chances to participate
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.