As a direct Facebook (FB) competitor, Google+ doesn’t stack up well. But what if directly competing with Facebook isn’t the point of Google’s (GOOG) social networking service? Over at Fast Company, David Llorens makes a reasonable case that Google+ simply cannot fail because Google has decided to make it “the Borg-like hive-queen that connects all the other Google products like YouTube, Google Maps, Images, Offers, Books, and more.” More →
Although Google+ hasn’t turned out to be quite the Facebook (FB) “killer,” Google (GOOG) is still very serious about expanding its social network. The company announced on Friday an upcoming update to its Google+ Android app with new features for “including on-the-go profile editing, an easier way to author content, and a subtle notice when there’s new stuff to read.” Google is also adding some killer photo features: up to 5GB of full-sized photos can be backed up for free via Instant Upload and Android 4.2′s 360-degree “Photo Sphere” panoramas can be shared to the mobile stream. More →
Google (GOOG) on Monday announced a new milestone for its Google+ social networking platform. Vic Gundotra, the company’s senior vice president of engineering, revealed that Google+ is now home to more than 400 million members and, despite arguments that claim the service is a ghost town, it now attracts 100 million active monthly users. “It was only a year ago that we opened public sign-up, and we couldn’t have imagined that so many people would join in just 12 months,” Gundotra wrote. Facebook (FB), Google’s main competitor in the social space, has more than 900 million active monthly users. More →
Google+ was apparently designed by guys who have never lived with a woman. Or, at least that’s the impression that five female technologists gave during a panel at Google I/O last week, Wired reports. During a panel focused on designing web pages that appeal to women, the designers were asked by an audience member why men outnumber women on Google+ by a ratio of around 2 to 1. The following are some choice responses as reported by Wired. More →
Google today announced a tablet-specific version of its Google+ social network. Among other things the new tablet applications will feature Hangouts that automatically switch cameras based on which person in the Hangout is talking. The new app will be available on both the Apple iPad and Android-based tablets. Google+ also now features an Events feature that integrates with Google Calendar and acts as the social networking site’s version of Evite that lets users set up and invite people to parties and other events. Google+ Events also features a “party mode” that automatically adds all photos taken to the party by any Google+ users who have “party mode” flipped on. “Party mode” also makes a live photo slideshow of pictures taken at the party as they’re taken. More →
When Spinal Tap’s manager was asked whether the band was less popular because it wasn’t selling out large venues any more, he replied that the band was just as popular but that its appeal had simply “become more selective.” Google is apparently angling for something similar with its spin on Google+ engagement, as Google vice president of product Bradley Horowitz told The Guardian on Wednesday that Google actually wants there to be more friction that slows down users’ sharing over the social network.
Google recently announced that it would add a gaming element to its Google+ social network. Again following in Facebook’s footsteps, the move was seen as a direct effort to increase engagement by keeping users on the Google+ site for as long as possible. Google’s gaming efforts suffered a major setback this week, however, as at least two game makers began pulling titles from the site, The Wall Street Journal reports. EA-owned PopCap pulled multiple games including a version of its popular Bejeweled franchise, and Germany-based Wooga pulled three titles as well. Google’s Facebook competitor touts impressive user growth, but a recent study suggested that Google+ is a ghost town with very little user engagement. More →
Google’s social network Google+ has been the subject of numerous debates. Despite boasting a large user base, a recent study suggested the service is a ghost town and now a former Engineering Director at the Internet giant has chimed in, blasting the service and the company’s co-founder Larry Page. The former executive called Google’s products a means to an end and claimed the company was merely building tools to obtain as much personal information as possible about its users to better woo potential advertisers. Spencer Tipping, a programmer who left Google about a month ago, recently wrote a blog post covering his time spent at the Mountain View-based company. In an extensive list of pros and cons, Tipping discussed the technological culture and the corporate culture at the company, noting that the biggest corporate culture con was none other than Google+. More →
Google’s emerging social network Google+ may boast big user numbers, but a new study suggests that social activity and user engagement are anything but impressive. Intended to give Google a stronger grip on the massive amount of data shared by users on social networks, Google’s answer to Facebook opened its doors to the public last September. After using some user acquisition methods that seemed a bit desperate, Google revealed in December that Google+ was then home to 62 million users. Google+ boasted an impressive 100 million users as of early April, but according to eCommerce analytics firm RJ Metrics, the social network is not the waterfall of data Google hoped it would be. More →
Google may be preparing to launch its own blog commenting system to compete with Facebook and Disqus. The rumor originated on the Saudi Arabian website Tech-WD and was later reportedly confirmed by TheNextWeb’s unnamed sources. Google’s comment system will reportedly incorporate the company’s search product, Google+ and other web services. The introduction of a comment system could help the Mountain View-based company bolster interest in its Google+ social networking service, which has reportedly seen a relatively slow adoption rate. According to Tech-WD, the upcoming comment system was originally discussed during Google’s G-Saudi Arabia conference, along with numerous other unannounced services. More →
If you turned on your television over the holidays you most likely encountered one of many Google advertisements. The Mountain View company has been pushing brand awareness with commercials highlighting Chrome web browsing, Google Search and social networking on Google+. It would appear the advertising is paying off, as Google+ is reportedly adding new users at a rapid pace. The social networking site has over 62 million users and is adding 625,000 new users each day according to unofficial Google+ statistician Paul Allen. What is astonishing is that nearly a quarter of all Google+ users joined in December alone. If the rate of new sign-ups continues, Allen predicts that Google+ will reach 100 million users on February 25th, 200 million users on August 3rd, and will finish 2012 with 293 million users. However, he also believes that 2012 will be the breakout year for the social networking site, and that it could reach more than 400 million users by the end of the year. Impressive nonetheless, Allen’s numbers only show how many people are signing up for Google + and there is no indication how frequently those users actually make use of their accounts regularly. More →
Google’s latest social networking effort follows a long line of failed attempts to break into a space owned by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and (somehow) Myspace, and Google seems to finally have a hit on its hands with Google+. The service amassed more than 10 million users within two weeks of launching as an invitation-only beta, and it now reportedly has more than 40 million users following a public launch. As Facebook approaches 1 billion users, however, Google has quite a bit of ground to make up. The Internet giant apparently isn’t afraid to get dirty in its quest for social network dominance, and a new report revealed that Google recently set up shop at colleges in Israel in an attempt to lure new users to Google+. Read on for more. More →
Google recently announced that its Google+ social network is now available to anyone who wants to join. The search engine giant noted that it has added 91 changes during the social network’s beta trial, which lasted just under 90 days, and that it is deploying nine new changes on Tuesday. Among the most notable additions, the Hangouts video chat feature is now available for Android smartphones running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer. Here is a list of several other key changes:
- A new “Hangouts on Air” option allows users to live broadcast to up to nine different people.
- Hangouts can now be named.
- A screen sharing function has been added to Hangouts.
- Users can now share and view a sketchpad directly inside Hangouts
- Google Docs can be viewed and shared inside Hangouts.
- Google+ members can now search for other users from the social network directly and Google+ will return results from around the web.
- The Google+ Hangouts API is now available for developers.