Google is rolling out two new features to Google Plus today, both of which allows users to create custom news streams about topics being shared. Both build on the search functionality added to Google Plus last month.
The first, real-time search, pulls results of Google Plus posts that are related to the search term, just like a Google search. As new posts filter in, a notification at the top of the results appears. When you click on it, it not only presents the newer posts but instead starts of real-time stream of posts that meet the search criteria.
In a YouTube demo (embedded below), Google engineer Vic Gundotra - who posted the news from his Google Plus feed - notes that it's a great way to keep up with real-time news events, such as a speech, a court trial or a sporting event.
Basically, it's a real-time news ticker for niche topics.
The second feature - hashtag support - essentially turns any hashtag in a post into a searchable term that can be used as another way to create feeds and real-time streams.
Whenever I attend conferences or follow news events, I tend to create a search column in TweetDeck by using hashtags to follow what's being said about the event. Getting this sort of stream within the Google Plus interface will be nice, too - but the real killer part comes when Google opens more of its API so that I can stream tweets and Google Plus posts side-by-side in the same TweetDeck window.
Now, that's what I would really call a social news stream.