It's a well known fact that I am not the biggest fan of Google+ and can't really be bothered using it. However, they have just launched a feature that I do think is very impressive and merits further attention. It is called Ripples and it basically allows you to see how your posts get shared on the new social network. As Google say themselves:
There's something deeply satisfying about sharing on Google+, then watching the activity unfold. Comments pour in, notifications light up, friends share with friends (who share with their friends), and in no time at all there's an entire community around your post. We want to help people re-live those conversationsâ€”both to rekindle that initial excitement, and to learn how posts flow across the network. That's why we're launching Google+ Ripples: a visualization tool for public shares and comments.
Now it might be because I'm a marketer, and I like to understand how content spreads that I am so excited about this feature, yet it might have limited enough appeal to the general public. The feature is also not going to be much good to me as I don't use Google+, but I think it's something that we need to see copied by Facebook and Twitter and I'd be stunned if they didn't.
You can track posts to a certain extent manually at the moment on social networks but this sort of data visualization takes the understanding of sharing to another level. It's clear that there are some very smart people working on Google+ and it's interesting to see them start to add such an analytical nature to a social network. You can expect them to keep pushing the envelope like this, but the only problem for them is that not many people are going to be using it.