Mashable broke the news that Google will be re-branding Picasa and Blogger to bring them in to line with Google+ - although this has yet to be confirmed. Whilst it is not really a surprise for Picasa, considering what is already happening, it is a big move for Blogger.
Picasa is already docked with the Plus mothership but we can expect the integration to go a lot deeper. As to whether Google will want to use G+ as the entry portal remains to be seen.
Speculation is bound to occur over where the change in direction will take the newly named Google Blogs? I immediately had a few ideas but we will have to see whether Google stops at a re-brand or - as would make more sense - take things further and adds a degree of integration.
Here is what I feel could happen:
- Blogger blogs will be closely integrated with Plus profiles
- integration could well see a Blog tab appear in the G+ interface showing your last few posts
- new posts could be automatically fed in to your Plus stream
- blog posts could inherit permissions from Circles
- Comments could be cross-location
- if blog posts are on a Plus tab or fed into your stream then it would make sense for commenting to be shared and synced across all locations
Not just public
If blog posts inherit the Circles permissions system then, rather than simply post to the world as normal, we could effectively host multiple, private blogs in the same location by only sharing specific posts with certain Circles.
Whilst the bulk of our posts could be public, individually targeted posts could be restricted to just a subset of our readers, perhaps family members or even staff were we to be running a company blog. The possibilities are both interesting and exciting.
Look out Facebook
If Plus effectively becomes a comment hosting system internally within Plus itself then there is nothing stopping Google from opening it up via API to other platforms à la Facebook comments in order to compete directly with those of the social network.
In contrast to Wave and Buzz, Google+ appears "too big to fail" as Google know this is most likely the last shot at getting taken seriously in social and have a lot invested in it; the question is how far do they want to go?