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Google+ Collections: Can They Beat Pinterest?

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Today, with so many people preferring visual content, social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are dominating the social scene. It comes as no surprise that other social channels are trying to get in on the visual game as well, leading us to Google+.

On May 4, 2015, Google announced it's newest addition to its Google+ lineup, Google Collections. This new feature is incredibly similar to the DIY juggernaut Pinterest. Does this mean that the internet search giant is coming after the internet inspiration Titan on their path to web domination?

What is Google Collections?

Google Collections allow users to create an area for their favorite things, divided into categories or topics. Users can share their Collections with specific Google+ users, publicly or privately. Once a person or page creates a collection, a tab will appear on their Google+ page, granting followers the opportunity to find and follow their collection. If you follow a collection, posts from the collection will appear on your Home stream, accompanied by a link that will send you back to the collection the post came from.

Brands Using Collections:

  • BuzzfeedTOMS
  • ASOS
  • Brit + Co.
  • Innova Disc Golf
  • Google Drive

Sound familiar? That's because it closely resembles Pinterest boards. Pinterest users are able to pin different content to different boards based on topic. The most pinned categories on Pinterest are:

  • DIY & Crafts
  • Home Decor
  • Holidays & Events
  • Food & Drink

Most Popular Pinterest Users:

  1. Joy Cho - 13,273,258 followers
  2. Maryann Rizo - 9,467,709 followers
  3. Bekka Palmer - 8,978,922 followers
  4. Jan + Earl of Poppytalk - 8,524,235 followers
  5. Jane Wang - 8,109,604 followers 

Can Collections Compete with Pinterest?

Pinterest users are not only sharing images, but videos and gifs. However, the user must click the pin in order to watch the video. Posts in collections have the capability of being interactive and very engaging without having to click on the post to watch it. For some great examples of interactive posts, check out this ASOS Men's Style collection or Buzzfeed's LOL posts.

With Google+ Collections being new, it's a little too early to tell. Pinterest users prefer to follow brands. In fact, 83 percent of active Pinterest users choose to follow a brand over a celebrity. To put that in perspective, the actress Jessica Alba only has 137,000 followers on Pinterest and blogger Joy Cho has over 13 million. With that knowledge, brands using Google+ Collections could tap into the pool of Pinterest users who are interested in the visual content their favorite brands are sharing. If Collections can gain some of Pinterest's active users, they're bound to be successful.

How Will Collections Affect Marketers?

One benefit of this new feature for marketers is that brands will be able to develop topic-based collections, which previously required brands using the social platform to create an entirely separate Google+ Page for each topic. If a local business who creates a local collection appears in the search engine results page, it may help them gain followers.

Google algorithms place value on their own social platform, helping Google+ posts appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) when search queries match the keywords in the Google+ post. It's unclear if a brand or company creates a collection if they'll get exposure in the search engine results like a Google+ post, making the value of this feature unknown.

Are You Ready to Use Collections?

As a brand, are you ready to change up your social media game? As a consumer, are you ready for new and different content from the brands you love? Google+ Collections may be a way for both brands and consumers to post and engage with exciting new content, and who knows, maybe Collections with surpass Pinterest. Maybe.

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