Area 120 – Google’s in-house incubator company known for Tables and Stack – has now revealed a new product that’s meant to rock the boat of innovation and forward-thinking. Museletter lets you turn your Google Drive content into a public blog-style profile that you can charge viewers for access to.
To date, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have remained private unless shared and only those with direct given access or a URL could view or collaborate on them. This new service seeks to aggregate all of your best content in one place and give public access to it for a fee. To be clear, you will still be required to share content – nothing is made public unless you wish it to be.
Which brings us to the obvious question – why would you? What does Museletter do that Drive already didn’t? Why repurpose this type of content at all? Well, I was wondering the same thing, so I did a bit of research. Museletter’s website gives a few example use cases, and the main attractive feature is the ability to publish your content directly to your email list. That’s right – you can import and manage your mailing list directly in Museletter, and we all know that even with social media, this remains the most effective way to target your audience.
Jenna is a marketing specialist. She creates and shares Google Slides that explain different marketing techniques. To monetize her Slides, she offers a paid subscription plan to her content.Museletter
Jojo is a world traveler. After her recent trip, she drops her photos, along with narration, in a Google Doc. She publishes the doc, as a blog, to her email list.Museletter
Tyson is a financial advisor. He creates Google Sheets, which show how to save for retirement. He publishes the content to his public profile.Museletter
Since many millions of people use Drive’s editing suite to create blogs, analytics, financial databases, presentations, and so on, this seems like a great tool for skipping out on the middle man and delivering these types of things straight to your customers. While it’s true at this time that Museletter is the middle man, you have to keep in mind that Area 120 projects are created with the intention of them eventually becoming a core part of Google’s services if they’re successful enough.
For example, if Museletter turns out to be a good idea and people use it, or at least give great feedback to the company in its early access stages, it could one day be integrated directly into Google Drive. Imagine selecting several Docs, Sheets or Slides and clicking one button to generate a public blog using it. Then, sharing a link directly to your audience via email brings them in and you manage everything right from your Google bubble.
The same goes for Stack – Area 120 created it with the intention of giving users a much cleaner way to manage their Google Drive with AI and machine learning. Automatically organizing document types once they’re scanned in so you don’t have to deal with the tedium. Tables is yet another example – the company will eventually integrate it directly into Google Sheets to give the service databasing powers like Airtable. Testing experiments like this through another internal company lets Google try out fun or exciting features without overwhelming Workspace users.
Anyways, Museletter also lets you share privately in case you want to try it out just for the design and layout but you’re not yet ready to share or monetize your documents. However, if you do opt for a public profile, you’ll also get some community features, engagement analytics, and more. While not yet available, you can request early access right now, but you’ll have to use a personal Gmail address.
Oddly enough, I couldn’t sign up with my Workspace account. For now, the service will be free, but as with its other experiments, Area 120 plans to offer premium features like custom domains, welcome emails, and more for a charge. Again, I think that this will eventually just be a part of your Workspace subscription and not a separate one, but we’ll have to wait and see.
This is an interesting, but strange concept. I think it’s going to come off as a Google-owned Medium type of service, but if I’m honest, there are very few individuals most people would pay a monthly subscription fee to access compared to paying one price to access a full site full of bloggers.
Because of this, maybe Museletter could one day replace Google’s most dead service – Blogger. The way we blog nowadays is so different, and if the company is seeing most people write directly in Docs and then export it to WordPress or other similar sites, this could be a way for it to breathe life back into its efforts and harness in-house content. Does this interest you, or are you just okay with your docs staying private indefinitely?