Saturday, 12 November 2011

Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about

Google+ Pages: connect with all the things you care about: In life we connect with all kinds of people, places and things. There’s friends and family, of course, but there’s also the sports teams we root for, the coffee shops we’re loyal to, and the TV shows we can’t stop watching (to name a few).



So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.







People + pages, better together

Google+ has always been a place for real-life sharing, and Google+ Pages is no exception. After all: behind every page (or storefront, or four-door sedan) is a passionate group of individuals, and we think you should able to connect with them too.



For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.



For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you'll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.



A number of pages are already available (see below), but any organization will soon be able to join the community at plus.google.com/pages/create.






* You can join Kermit and Ms. Piggy for a live Hangout on the Muppets’ Google+ page today at 4:30pm PT!



Direct Connect from Google search

People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they're looking for businesses and brands. Today's launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we're rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect.



Maybe you're watching a movie trailer, or you just heard that your favorite band is coming to town. In both cases you want to connect with them right now, and Direct Connect makes it easy—even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you're interested in (like +Angry Birds). We'll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we’ll add them to your circles.



Direct Connect works for a limited number of pages today (like +Google, +Pepsi, and +Toyota), but many more are coming. In the meantime, organizations can learn more about Direct Connect in our Help Center.



Watch the Hajj in Saudi Arabia—the world’s largest pilgrimage—live on YouTube

Watch the Hajj in Saudi Arabia—the world’s largest pilgrimage—live on YouTube: Nearly 2.5 million Muslims will officially begin the annual Islamic ritual of the Hajj on November 5, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Hajj represents one of the five pillars of Islam; it requires all Muslims around the world who are able-bodied and can afford it to perform the pilgrimage once in their lifetime.



The Hajj is an ancient ritual, but now, through the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information's YouTube channel, millions of people from around the world will be able to experience and comment on the event by tuning in via video.







Earlier this year, we worked with the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information to broadcast Islamic prayers live during Ramadan from the Holy Mosque in Mecca for the first time. In continued cooperation with the Ministry, we’re now able to live stream the Hajj on YouTube for the first time.



The stream will be live on Saturday, November 5 at http://www.youtube.com/hajjlive.



Posted by Najeeb Jarrar, product marketing manager, Middle East and North Africa, & Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, regional manager, emerging Arabia



(Cross-posted on the YouTube blog)