Google+ was initially about a "plussed" version of Google. In fact, the original plan was to remove the plus after launch, so the + was superscript and looked like an exponent. But our strategic insight was that Google+ signaled a fundamental shift in how Google would operate. With this insight in mind, the logo was changed and the '+' was given more prominence.
The hype surrounding Google's "Facebook killer" was one of the biggest challenges the team faced in launching Google+. The platform was not going to be fully functional at launch and we knew the critics would seize on this fact comparing it to Buzz and Wave. We decided to turn this into a positive and advised the team they rename Google+ the "The Google+ Project" at launch. The word project signaled Google's understanding that there was more work to be done and that the company was open to consumers' feedback about the platform.
Google Creative Labs' overall launch design of the hand-drawn arrows also worked well within the context of a "project." What is less visible are the efforts we made to ensure that the sign-up process, as well the overall functionality of the platform, was as user friendly as possible.
One of the killer apps of the Google+ platform was the ability to group message. We helped to name this functionality "Huddle."
When the platform launched, it was only going to be open to Google employees and a select group of influencers. In an effort to provide the public with a peek under the tent, we collaborated with B-Reel to help create an interactive guide that was featured on FWA as “Site of the Day” and “Mobile Site of the Day.” The interactive guide walked consumers through each aspect of Google+.
Hangouts was clearly going to be a key differentiator between Facebook and Google+, and we leaned heavily into crafting a communications campaign for it. One of our ideas included giving elected officials a chance to speak with their constituents. A year later, it happened.