Items tagged with google plus

Sing it with us now: 'Turn out the lights, the party's over. They say that all good things must end. Let's call it a night, the party's over. And tomorrow starts the same old thing again.' Willie Nelson didn't know it at the time, but he was singing about Google+, or at least that's the case if you're a fan of the social network. Not enough people were, and so starting on February 4, Google will begin turning out the lights. Google announced several months ago that it was planning to shutter Google+ on the consumer side. The company cited "low usage and engagement" as the primary reason, which translates into Google+ not being nearly as popular as Facebook. However, the straw that finally broke... Read more...
Stick a fork in Google+, the social network is done, finished, finito. Or as Google more delicately puts it, the company is "sunsetting" the consumer version of Google+, a decision that tens (and maybe even dozens!) of users will find upsetting, given the seconds and minutes they have put into the social network when not using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. We're slightly exaggerating, of course, though "low usage and engagement" certainly factored into the decision. In a blog post announcing the closure, Google said that 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds. Think about that. Nine of out 10 times someone uses Google+, they are there for about... Read more...
Despite its best efforts, Google hasn't exactly rocked the social media world, not with its Google+ venture or any of its side operations. That's not to say Google+ is irrelevant, but it's no Facebook or Twitter. To help change that, Google recently hired Chris Poole, otherwise known online as "moot," founder of the wildly popular 4chan website. "Today I'm excited to announce that I've joined Google. When meeting with current and former Googlers, I continually find myself drawn to their intelligence, passion, and enthusiasm—as well as a universal desire to share it with others," Poole stated on his blog. "I'm also impressed by Google's commitment to enabling these same talented people to... Read more...
There's too much fuzzy math involved in figuring out exactly how many people are on Google+, but whatever the actual figure is, Google would like it to be higher. To help achieve that goal, Google is giving its social network a total overhaul, one that will put the focus squarely on two distinct features, Communities and Collections. "Today, we’re starting to introduce a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center," Google stated in a blog post. "Now focused around interests, the new Google+ is much simpler. And it’s more mobile-friendly—we’ve rebuilt it across web, Android and iOS so that you’ll have a fast and consistent experience whether you are on a big... Read more...
Google is getting ready to say goodnight to Google+ Photos (oh no!) as the service is set to expire on August 1, 2015, but Google Photos will live on (phew!). Confused? It's all about the "+" symbol. The photo service that Google is shutting down is the one that's built into its Google+ social network, while the one it's going full steam ahead with is its standalone Google Photos service launched back in May. While it's unlikely Google would ever state this publicly, the shuttering of Google+ Photos is partially an admission that its social network isn't on the level of Facebook, or even close. Had Google+ taken off the way the company hoped it would, the standalone Google Photos service probably... Read more...
If Pinterest's developers appear a little red around the cheeks, you can assume they're blushing. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and it's inevitable that Google's new Google+ Collections will draw comparisons to Pinterest, both of which center around pinning things that are of interest to you, like cats or cars and so forth. Collections began rolling out yesterday even before it was officially announced. To the best of our knowledge, it's not a staggered release, as Google sometimes does with its services, so you should be able to use and browse Collections now. Just head over to your Google+ account and look for the new Collections tab in the pull-down menu on the left-hand... Read more...
Top level talent is hard to come by in the tech sector, so it's not unusual to see major players jump from one company to the next. It can sometimes be pretty cutthroat in Silicon Valley, though in other cases, engineers and other high level workers sometimes simply need a change after burying themselves in a project. We're not sure which is the case for Dr. Babak Parviz, creator of Google Glass, but he's jumping ship to go work for Amazon. Parviz hinted at the change in a status update on his Google+ page that simply said, "Status: super excited!," followed by a smiling emoticon and a picture of Amazon's logo. That in and of itself wouldn't be enough to confirm his new employment, though if... Read more...
Life is a funny thing. What seems important one day and consumes all of our time and energy eventually fades into another chapter of our past. Sometimes it takes a major event to put these moments and decisions into perspective, and so it happened that way for Vic Gundotra, the driving force behind Google+, who today announced he is leaving the company. The death of his wife's uncle in a tragic accident served as a catalyst for his decision to leave Google. A truck hit and killed the man as he was riding his bicycle in L.A. to get lunch. During the memorial service, the man's daughter told a story about how she and her dad would talk every day on the phone, but rather than start each call with... Read more...
There's a general perception out there that Google's social network is a virtual ghost town, versus Facebook's online playground, which is always bustling with activity. Google's tried to dispel that notion on occasion by revealing user stats, and if you look closely at the latest numbers, you might be surprised at just how busy Google+ is these days. Tina Courtney-Brown at SiteProNews did some digging and discovered that Google+ is now home to over 1 billion registered users, which compares favorably to Facebook's 1.19 billion. It's true that Google+'s stats are somewhat artificially inflated due to Google integrating accounts for its various services. However, Courtney-Brown says over 540 million... Read more...
Privacy advocates take note, Google is rolling out a new feature to Gmail that allows your Google+ connections to email you even if you've never shared with the sender your email address. The assumption on Google's part is that you're familiar enough with your Google+ contacts to exchange emails, and by implementing this feature, you can avoid situations where you're halfway through an email draft before realizing you never actually exchanged email addresses with the intended recipient. Now, before anyone goes into a privacy panic, there are some things you should know. First, your email address still isn't visible to a Google+ connection, unless you send that person an email. Likewise, that... Read more...
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, both Facebook and Google should be blushing from cheek to cheek. After the introduction go Google+, the two social networking services have been copying features from each other, inadvertently helping the other to innovate and improve upon their own social playground. It's still happening, too. Witness, for example, a new feature on Google+ in which posts that are +1'd by people in your circles will appear on your feed. Facebook already does this by highlighting posts your friends like. On Google+, the person or people who +1'd a particular post that shows up on your feed will be displayed above the highlighted post. In doing so, you're exposed... Read more...
George Carlin said it best, we all "need a place to put our stuff." Carlin likened the entire meaning of life as just finding a place to put your stuff. Well it seems the folks at Google understand this age old wisdom as well and as such will be launching a new service.  Google Mine will soon be integrated with Google+ so that users can share their belongings with friends in circles they so designate.  The new service will also allow G+ users to "rate and review" items as well, so that anyone in your Google+ stream that you allow, can see the items and your opinion of them.  Reportedly there is also an Android app on the way for Mine, which seems like a natural of course, for sharing... Read more...
Good things tend to come to those who are famous. And if you're one of the high and mighty, you now have more more vain reason to turn to Google+. The company has just announced that vanity URLs will be available to "verified accounts," with other profiles to follow suit "over time." Basically, this is following a move by Facebook to allow users to select a URL username to follow the host name and backslash. The custom URLs are being rolled out now to select celebrities and companies, but the simpletons are simply told to "stay tuned." If you're looking for that level of vanity right now, Facebook will let even the non-celebs grab their own.... Read more...
Call Google+ a ghost town if you wish, but in terms of customer satisfaction, it's standing head and shoulders above Facebook, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report released on Tuesday. The report highlights customer happiness on a scale of 1-100, and Facebook, which was already the lowest-scoring e-business company, fell in favor even more in this latest edition, dropping 8 percent to 61/100. Google+, meanwhile, posted a respectable score of 78/100 on its first appearance in the ACSI scale. The reasons, ACSI says, have to do with an absence of traditional advertising and a superior mobile experience compared to Facebook. In contrast, Facebook users frequently... Read more...
It may have taken what feels like an eternity, but iPad users can now hop on Apple's App Store and download the official Google+ app rather than using a stretched out version of the iPhone app or navigating Google's social network via Safari. "The Google+ app for iPad was designed with the device in mind," Google stated in a blog post. "Your stream styles content based on popularity, type, and orientation. We've also added unique ways to interact with the app." Those "unique ways" include the ability to pinch and expand posts in your stream to add your comments, using two fingers to drag a post from your stream to re-share it, and starting a Hangout from your iPad and streaming it to your TV... Read more...
In addition to new device announcements and technology reveals, some interesting revelations are coming out of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week. One of those is the number of Android activations that occur on a daily basis. According to Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google who oversees the development of Android, fans of the open-source platform are activating more than 850,000 devices every day. "There are over 450,000 applications in Android Market. Some of the developers who built these apps are showing their latest and greatest in the Android stand. But the ecosystem doesn't sleep. Our partners have activated a total of 300 million Android phones! Currently... Read more...
If you fancy yourself a betting man, head over to Las Vegas and see if you can find anyone willing to wager which will happen first: the world will end, or Google+ will top 400 million members. Both are predicted to happen in the 2012, the former by the Mayans, and the latter by Paul Allen (stat guy, not the co-founder of Microsoft). Is either one likely to happen? Here's what we know about the end of the world. People have been predicting man's demise probably since time began, and certainly in the past several decades. Harold Camping got it wrong multiple times, but his fuzzy math wasn't based off of Mayan calculations, which pegs the apocalypse for December 21, 2012 (not without dispute, of... Read more...
Feeling a little bit freakish with Halloween just around the corner? So are we, and Google+ lets us get our full freak on with a new Creative Kit for manipulating photos. In addition to basic editing tools and semi-powerful filters already available, the Creative Kit lets you add all kinds of effects and text to your photos, including some ghoulish special effects courtesy of a Halloween tool kit. To access the Creative Kit, just select a photo from one your photo albums, mash the Edit button, and select Creative Kit. This loads your photo into Google+'s editor where you'll find familiar functions like Crop, Rotate, Exposure, Colors, Sharpen, and Resize, but if you click the Halloween tab at... Read more...
After keeping a semi-tight lid on Google+ for the past three months, the sultan of search has now opened up its social networking platform to the general public. For better or worse, that means anyone and everyone is free to sign up. Some of you just let out a groan and are thinking, "Great, there goes the neighborhood," while others are jumping for joy at the prospect of an influx of members to finally get those streams flowing. "For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal. We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce... Read more...
Do you hear that noise? It sounds like pacing, which we imagine is what Mark Zuckerberg spends a fair amount of time doing these days as he contemplates how to fend off Google+ from one day becoming the world's largest social networking site. And before you dismiss that notion, consider this: in less than a month, Google+ has attracted over 25 million members, every single one of them by invite only. That data comes from market research firm comScore, according to a report in the Associated Free Press, and while 25 million is a drop a bucket compared to Facebook, what's remarkable is how quickly Google+ accumulated those numbers. Google+ is now officially the fastest growing social networking... Read more...
This past week has been a busy one for Google. Users of the company's Google+ social networking service have been up in arms over the deletion of several accounts for violating the service's "real name" policy, and the company is now backtracking to quell the rage.  The service's support teams, which apparently were the final word in what a "real name" is, had been killing off several accounts because users had pseudonyms, non-traditional names, or foreign-language characters in their names. Now, executives are attempting to mend the situation. "We've noticed that many violations of the Google+ common name policy were in fact well-intentioned and inadvertent and for these users our... Read more...
Earlier this week, hacker collective Anonymous decided that it would found its own social networking site after being shut down on Google+. The site, which is (temporarily) named Anon+, will give users freedoms that sites like Facebook and Google+ will not, according to developer/hacker "Higochoa." Higochoa is part of a team of 12 to 15 other developers, plus freelancers, who are building the site. Like the other social networks, Anon+ will allow members to create profiles, add friends and communicate, as well as give users total control over who they share information with. The big difference is that the entire site will be anonymous, which is not allowed on the other networks. The site will... Read more...
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