You’ll be forgiven if you know nothing about Google’s latest Workspace app, Google Streams. The search company has hardly bothered to advertise their new offer or explain how it can help your business.
In this post, we discuss exactly what Google Currents is, what you can do with it and whether you should use it within your organization.
Ready to keep up with Currents? Then let’s dive.
What is Google Streams?
Google Currents is the search engine’s new company-based tool for social networking that exists within the range of Google Workspace tools. According to Google:
Currents is a G Suite app that enables people to have meaningful conversations and interactions within your organization, to keep everyone informed, and to give leaders the opportunity to connect with their employees.
In a further statement, the company said:
With Currents, you can create an online community in which you can securely share real-time team updates, new ideas, and common interests.
This is an updated version of the expired social media platform Google+. The platform has been slightly redesigned and streamlined to make it faster and easier to post content.
It is also no longer a social media platform. Instead, it is an enterprise-level communication tool similar to Slack, which aims to improve communication and collaboration within teams. Users can create discussions and comment on them that can be seen by all or a certain number of users. Each discussion can be seen in a user’s feed, which they can rank by relevance or chronologically.
This is the second time an app has been named Google Currents. The name was previously used for a magazine app that eventually became Google Play Kiosk and later Google News.
How does Google Streams work?
Google Currents is a pretty intuitive platform. Just in case you are not sure if it is worth it for your team, here is everything you need to know about how the platform works before you start.
Create and share posts
Reports are the foundation of Google Currents. This is how you share information and collaborate with your colleagues.
You can choose who sees posts by choosing to share posts with specific communities or people. Anyone who follows you and has permission to see your post will see it in their stream. Posts will also appear on your profile.
Click the “+” button in the lower right corner of your profile page to create a message. Give your post a title and then add your copy. You can use the icons below to add a link or an image. Choose which communities or people you want to share your message with, then click “Post” to publish it.
You can share someone else’s message by clicking the Share icon next to the message. If you do not see a Share icon, the user has chosen not to allow people to share it, or they have posted it in a private community.
Involve with currents
You can read news and posts across the entire company or department using the Stream tab in the left sidebar. Simply click on the stream you want to view.
Next to each stream you see the number of unread posts. Depending on the labels you use and the communities you post to, your posts may automatically appear in these streams.
If your administrator has enabled the Spotlight system, you will see promoted content from your organization’s leaders in front of other posts.
Create and join communities
You can create a Google Currents community for any occasion, whether it’s for your department, a project or a shared interest. More than one person can moderate a community, and anyone invited to it can post. You can even create private communities with people outside your organization.
Create a community by clicking on the Communities tab in the left pane. Click ‘New community’ or ‘Create community’ if this is your first. Enter a name for your community and select the people who can see it.
You can also use the Communities tab to find other communities to join (or request to join if they are private.)
You can customize your stream and explore new content in Google Currents by using tags. For example, you can follow the hashtag #CompanyNews to see posts with the tag in your feed. If you are the administrator, you can enable and disable the code for your entire organization.
When you create a message, adding labels can maximize its reach and make sure as many people as possible see it. Google recommends using between two and four tags per message, either by creating it yourself or by Google Currents.
It’s easy to follow a label. Hover your mouse over the label and click “Follow”. You can preview the tag before following it by clicking on the tag itself. Google Currents suggests labels that you can follow in the left-hand bar under Tags. You can use this area to track labels you want to stop tracking.
Create and update your profile
Your Currents profile enables users to learn more about you, what you do within your organization, and your interests.
Your administrator will probably have created your profile for you. If not, you can create one when you join the platform.
You need to make sure your information is up to date and accurate, if at all.
- Click on your profile photo to edit it.
- Add communities you want to join.
- Choose which communities you want to display to the public by clicking Edit Profile.
- Edit your personal information by clicking on your name.
View Analytics as an Administrator
Workspace administrators can view Google Currents analytics to see their engagement statistics and track user behavior. You can navigate to the analytics section by clicking on “View Post Analytics” in the menu of a post.
Alternatives to Google Currents
According to Gartner, here are some alternative platforms for Google Currents.
- Facebook Workplace
- Salesforce chat
- Igloo software
Do you need to use Google Streams at work?
There is a lot to like about Google Currents, but there is also a little to wish for. However useful it may be, it is far from the perfect tool. This may make you wonder if Google Currents is worth using in your organization. Here are my thoughts.
Pro: Stay within the workspace ecosystem
Of course, if you already use Google Workspace, Google Currents is a great tool for communication tools. It’s already integrated into your email, documents and storage, so it only makes sense to keep everything under one roof. Less switching between applications also means more productivity.
Disadvantages: another tool for learning
While Google Currents is part of the Workspace ecosystem, it’s another tool your users will need to learn to use. It’s not ideal for productivity, but the good news is that Google Currents is pretty intuitive. If you can use Gmail and Google Drive, you can probably learn to use Google Currents in 30 minutes.
Pro: connect with colleagues
Every business has a communication and collaboration tool. Email is too clumsy to use on a daily basis, and physical solutions no longer have a place, thanks to remote work. This makes a tool like Google Currents indispensable for any large organization.
Cons: not the most comprehensive tool
If you’re looking for a great tool for collaboration, you can not necessarily find everything in Google Currents alone. Other instruments are usually more comprehensive. However, this is not the case if you use the entire Google Workspace ecosystem. Include Hangout Chat, Docs, Drive, and Gmail, and you have a pretty enviable productivity suite that can give most collaboration platforms a chance.
Advantage: Reduces the risks of leaks
If you do not allow your colleagues to create communities on Google Currents, where else will they create them? Facebook? LinkedIn? Private email groups? All of these situations are beyond your control and also increase the risk of a data breach. The last thing you want is for an employee to share private company information in a public forum like Facebook. It is much better to keep everything under your company’s control.
In short: if you already use Google Workspace, Google Currents is a good idea. You’re already integrated into the Google ecosystem, so what’s another tool, especially if it’s relatively easy to use? Go ahead and give it a try. If you do not like it, you can always pull the plug.
If you do not use Google products of any kind, you may want to use another tool like Slack. Since it’s only $ 6 per user per month, why not give it a try?
Google Streams: Frequently Asked Questions
What is Google Currents?
Google Currents is an enterprise-class collaboration tool from Google. Any Google Workspace user has automatic access to Google Currents.
How do I add people to Google Currents?
Your Google Workspace users are automatically added to Google Currents. If you want to add more people to Currents, you need to create more workspace accounts.
Is Google Currents free?
No. Users must have a Google Workspace account to use Google Currents, starting at $ 6 per user per month.
How much does Google Currents cost?
Google Currents is included in Google Workspace, starting at $ 6 per user per month.
Is Google Currents basically Google+?
Yes and no. The code base is very much the same, and so is the design. However, Google Currents is targeted at businesses as opposed to the general public. It is also self-sufficient in the Workspace ecosystem.
Google Streams: Summary
Google Currents is Google’s new enterprise communication and collaboration tool. This is the perfect solution if you are already integrated into the Google Workspace ecosystem. This is a pretty good tool, even if you are not. This is another great tool to add to your toolkit.
Google Currents is one of the best ways to communicate whether you have a massive organization of a small startup. What’s more, I expect more features to be added in the near future. It’s just going to get better!
How was your experience with Google Currents?
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