Google has introduced its first monetization effort for its social networking platform, Google+. Rather than running ads directly within the platform, Google has announced a new ad unit called +Post ads, which allow brands to turn their Google+ content into expandable display ads. Those ads can then run across the Google Display Network.
Brands can re-purpose pictures, videos, Hangouts and turn them into display ads within the Google+ interface. The ads are distributed on the Google Display Network, which claims over 2 million web sites
Below is an example of a +Post ad from Toyota, an early test partner. The +Post ads can display in GDN sites on mobile devices as well.
Users can click the ad to expand it and see the full set of user comments. According to Google, social annotations help increase click through rates. In addition to commenting, users can also share the content or join a live hangout.
Toyota USA, RITZ crackers and Cadbury UK are among the launch brands running +Post ads. Google plans to open the beta to more advertisers after collecting feedback from participating brands and users.