For those of you following at home, the social media metrics scorecard has another entry. Google Plus has added the number of views you or your page have generated on the network.
Here’s how that looks for Sergey Brin’s account:
Here’s Starbucks’ page:
Google made no splashy announcement about the change. The help page merely explains that “you now can tell how many times your content has been seen by other people, including your photos, posts, and profile page.” Googler Eddie Kessler added in a G+ post that the number is a sum of views since October 2012 (Google’s “social layer” launched in beta in June 2011). The page also notes that view counts “may not be exact, and they may not be updated in real time.”
However inexact, displaying the metric is clearly part of an effort to emphasize activity on the network, very similar to Twitter’s experimenting with displaying views on individual tweets.
For online marketers, analytic tools in Google+ have been very limited, especially when compared to Facebook Insights. “Ripples,” which graphically display how a post is shared in the network, are pretty but not very useful.
This change is a step in the right direction, but as Google’s digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik noted in a post on G+: “Would be nice to have: Views for individual pieces of content and, since most people are logged in if they are here, Count of Unique People (for the whole thing plus individual content).”
Postscript: Mark Traphagen, an online marketing consultant and avid Google+ user (79,000 followers, 18 million views), relayed clarification from Yonatan Zunger, senior engineer on the G+ team, about what counts as a view: “For a post, [a view] means rendering on the user’s visible window, so it includes scrolling past it. For images and profile, it means loading it up.”
For more discussion of this development, visit Traphegen’s post here.