Google Adds Basic Activity Streams To Drive

January 15 2014 12:00:00 PM Add/Read Comments [3]
Google has introduce activity streams to their file creation and sharing service, Google Drive.

From the screenshots they have provided, it appears to be just a simple list of events, offering no collaboration features such as commenting, liking, task assignment or re-sharing. They have made filtering the stream quite simple, if you select specific files or folders only the events related to those will be displayed.

Analysis

While streams are an effective way of helping people discovering information, the problem is you have to be looking at them to see it. So where does Google want people to focus their attention? Should people be looking at their Gmail inbox, the Google+ stream, or this new Drive stream? I'd rather see the events from Drive broadcast into the Google+ stream, with the assumption that there would be appropriate filters so the stream does not become unmanageable. Also, it would be nice to have a Drive stream sidebar in Gmail for those people who prefer to work out of their inbox.

This is a good first step for Google and their current users will benefit from the feature. However, this is certainly not a differentiator as services such as Box already offer an update stream that includes collaborative features. I'd also like to see a clear vision from Google about which interface they expect users to spend their time in, and which services (files, Hangouts, events, etc.) just augment that experience.

Google Drive Activity Stream