Brands can repurpose any of their Google+ content, such as photos, videos or Hangouts into “+Post” ads that can run across the 2 million sites in Google’s Display Network. Users can click to expand the ads and see all the user comments or join live hangouts.
In a blog post, Google product manager Earn Arkin says +Post ads “let brands think of the entire web as their social stream”.
Cadbury UK, Ritz crackers and Toyota USA are among the brands currently testing +Post ads, which went live yesterday (9 December). Google says those test brands are seeing expansion rates 50 per cent higher than the industry average for rich media ads. It will open up the offering to additional brands in “the next few months”.
Google+ launched in September 2011 with the promise of acting as the “social glue” between all of Google’s products, such as search and YouTube.
Google said in October this year Google+ had 540 million monthly active users across its properties and 300 million active in the Google+ stream. By comparison, Facebook said in the same month it had 1.19bn monthly active users, while Twitter said it had 215 million.