21st Jan, 2016 / Sofiann McKerrellSofiann McKerrell

Image of Google homepage with new patent written on the search bar

Google has recently been issued a patent for a system that will "recommend social activity data" and start a social conversation, with email as the first point of contact. The patent recognises that links are shared and conversations are started through emails. However, the platform doesn't provide an optimal mechanism to bring such conversations to social networks where users can share information easily and start a conversation with other users.

Email communication is the foundation of the proposed system. When a link in an email is clicked, a pop-up will appear with suggestions on how it will be shared on social media.

One of the patent images showed an email with a link sharing a new book. When the link is clicked, 3 potential suggestions popped up.

  • Favourite author
  • New book
  • I have been a reader of

Image of how Google’s proposed system would work when a link is clicked, along with suggested options on a pop-up system

The first two suggestions allow users to post updates pointing to their favourite author or a new book, while the last one gives users an idea on how to make the content more compelling on social media, amplifying it beyond the initial email conversation.

Google will also identify email content to determine which topic/copy to propose that a user will be able to post. A social activity data will also be ranked based on the popularities associated with the social activity.

As the patent suggests, the flow of the system starts with Google determining knowledge data based on an email message, followed by identification of social activity data, identification of the set of users based on a message’s content, and then displaying of access to the set of users previously identified and to the social activity data.

The system would also enable Google to assess trends that companies, brands, and users can use to tailor their social media posts based on a resonant copy. This will result in more engagement across social media shares.

What this means to users

  • Easily start a social conversation just by clicking a link shared through email
  • Have access to a social network service that allows first users to engage with one or more second users
  • Get suggested topics associated with an email to start a social conversation  

While the system is developed to provide users an easy way to "start a conversation through email", it would also give Google a strategic edge. Through the social network service, the search giant would be able to determine one or more second users who are connected or associated with the user who received or sent an email, also known as the first user.

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