Google+’s power play for journalists

Yesterday Google News announced that it will start highlighting journalists more prominently than their publications. The catch? The author must join Google+ (and do more) to get the big byline.

Why the sudden infatuation with journalists from a company that prides itself on algorithms? Perhaps not for the user experience of Google News. As Reuter’s Anthony De Rosa tweeted “Google+ is already heavy on media insidery, not broadly mainstream enough. Adding G+ journo profile only makes it more so.”

Journalists were one of the first professions to adopt Twitter en masse (the inspiration for the creation of Muck Rack itself in early 2009), which resulted in having name brands users trust for a fledgeling “user generated” platform and outsized coverage of Twitter in the news (people write about what they use). This point was not lost on Facebook either, which hired a Journalist Program Manager in April to lure journalists to its platform.

Soon after the launch of Google+, we listed 140 journalists on Google+. It’s worth noting that when we launched Muck Rack in 2009 there were only 150 journalists on Twitter that we could find. We’ve now verified thousands.

Expect the number of journalists on Google+ to skyrocket now that Google’s waving the Google News carrot to get journalists on their social network.

Journalists can look forward to the response from Twitter and Facebook as they battle for their tweets. Just don’t expect any checks from them anytime soon.

For a daily email on what journalists on tweeting or +ing about, subscribe to the Muck Rack Daily. To request a Muck Rack one page guide on using Twitter to  connect with journalists click here.