Google unveiled Google Wave, a communication and collaboration tool in Google I/O conference last week. Since I was not there 🙂 I searched on the internet and found out what Google Wave is all about. First of all, it is something we all need to wait and experience to understand how much difference it can make in our business and daily communication needs. It seems to be a combination of email, instant messaging and micro-blogging all under the same interface. There are some terminologies which we all will become familiar with as we use Google Wave. Ok, lets have a look at it.
Above is a screenshot of how Google Wave looks like. On the left, there is your Google Wave folders and your Google contact list with images of your contacts. There is Google wave inbox in the middle of screen where you can click on any wave to open a pane for that wave on the right side of the screen. There users can see everything about that wave, respond to waves, add more people just by simply dragging pictures of people in their contact list in to the wave, rewind back and see how that wave evolved over time, change the contents in a wave or see the changes made by other users in a wave.
People on a wave can send messages in the real-time where participants see other people’s keyboard clicks letter by letter. You can use the “Draft” mode if you don’t want people to see your words until you send them.You can also private message to someone within a wave. Your message will be kept in the content flow of the wave but that message will be displayed only to you and your private contact.
Another exciting feature of wave is that people can share images by just dragging the image in to the waves. They can also share Google Maps which can be editted, games, event invitations etc.
“Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave.”
And we come to the point that mostly interests me. Waves can be used across websites on the net as they can be embedded on any blog or website. The Google Wave Embed API allows us to aggregate conversations on third party websites, anywhere in the web in our website. Visitors will be able to see waves and they can join in and participate to the waves from websites. Those messages will directly be published in the original wave. This can be a great online marketing and communication tool to promote products, get valuable straight feedback from the clients, enable real-time communication, and extend our networks.
Google wave is open-sourced and it will evolve by the help of developers over time and will be a product created by it’s own users. Developers can build their own apps just like Facebook and iGoogle within waves which will bring new advertising opportunities as well.
Google wave will be available later this year. You can sign up for Google Wave updates and be informed about when it is coming a live.
Here is a long official video of Google wave. Enjoy it.