Google+ keeps rolling out the innovative (and often fun!) new features. Now you can start a conversation around any Google+ search stream.

Here’s how it works on a breaking news item (about the Costa Concordia, a luxury liner that ran aground off Italy):

Now at the top of any Google+ search for posts from Google+, you’ll see a “Join the discussion about [search term]” box (arrow). Notice also the Pause button (red  rectangle), handy for breaking news because the search stream updates in real time.


Click in the “Join the discussion” box and you get the familiar Google+ sharing box. Notice it has all the familiar features: add photos or videos, a link, or a location. Just as usual, select the circles you want to share with and click “Share.”

Your post is posted to the circle(s) you selected…but it also is inserted into the search stream where anyone who does that same search and is in the circles you chose (or everyone, if you made it public), can find it there. Anyone who can see the post can comment on it, not only in your stream, but also right in the search stream! There is also a convenient link in the post to the search stream from which you shared it.

For right now, the most useful aspect of this new feature is the convenience of posting to your circles about a topic you’re searching without having to leave the search stream. Imagine how this might be for a true breaking news story. You go to the search stream for the story, create a “Join the discussion” post, share it with your friends, and then watch as the discussion builds, while you are keeping an eye on the real-time flow of posts in the search stream.

Try that on Twitter!