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.
A security expert at Italian security firm AIR Sicurezza Informatica claims to have found a security flaw in Google’s new social network that allows hackers to potentially use Google+ servers to execute DDoS attacks. Simone Quatrini explained the flaw on the IHTeam Security Blog, and he wrote a script that can perform the attack, repeatedly prompting Google’s server to send requests to the target site. DDoS attacks, or distributed denial-of-service attacks, flood a web server with requests in an effort to prevent it from functioning. Such attacks require appropriate resources and bandwidth to execute, and Google servers would obviously have more than enough of these resources to launch a significant attack. More →
Google announced on Thursday that it is following in Facebook’s footsteps yet again by adding games to its Google+ social network. “We want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web,” the company said in a blog post. “That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences.” Thankfully we won’t be bombarded with Farmville requests and updates on Mafia Wars: “games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t,” the company said. A new ‘Games’ button will be added to the top of the Google+ stream that will bring users to the gaming page. Launch titles include Angry Birds, Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, City of Wonder, Collapse! Blast, Crime City, Diamond Dash, Dragon Age Legends, Dragons of Atlantis, Edge World, Flood-It!, Monster World, Sudoku, Wild Ones, Zombie Lane and Zynga Poker. Google will be rolling out the update to its users gradually and it will be available to all users “soon.” More →
Google updated its Google+ iOS application on Monday with support for the iPod touch and the iPad. The search giant initially launched Google+ on Android and followed-up a few weeks later with an iPhone release, but other iOS users were left out in the cold. Google has added Huddle settings and aggregated circle add notifications to the app. We’re big fans of the Google+ “Circles” feature, which allows you to control who sees what, so if you haven’t given the new social network a try yet, we suggest you do. Read on for the iTunes Store link. More →
Reports surfaced on Thursday that Anonymous’ AnonPlus social network was broken into by other hackers who called themselves AKINCILAR. AKINCILAR, also the name of a town in Turkey, left a message and a picture of a dog head on the social network’s logo, which normally depicts a suited man with a question mark as a head. The social network was created as a safe zone for hackers to congregate anonymously after Google removed Anonymous Operations’ account from Google+. The message from AKINCILAR read:
We Are TURKIYE. We Are AKINCILAR.
This logo suits you more..How dare you rise against to the World..Do you really think that you are Ottoman Empire?
We thought you before that you cannot challenge with the world and we teach you cannot be social
Now all of you go to your doghouse..
Read on for more, including Anonymous’ response. More →
Have a Windows Phone? Want in on the Google+ fun? Your wait may soon be over. In a post published on July 14th, Google listed fifteen changes that it said “may” be implemented this week. Number six on the list is “Google+ App for Windows Phone 7.” Google officially announced the Google+ social network on June 28th and, while it already has more than 10 million users, third party user stats have suggested 87% of the current profiles belong to men. More →
Apple finally approved the official Google+ application for iOS on Tuesday. Google took the wraps off of Google+, its new social network, on June 28th and immediately made an Android application available to its users. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for Apple to approve the iPhone version. Google+ for iOS is supported on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 4, provided that the device is running iOS 3.1 or later. There’s no word if a dedicated iPad version is in the works. More →
A developer named Michael Lee Johnson recently decided to advertise his Google+ profile on Facebook. Unfortunately, it might not have panned out as well as Johnson had hoped. Johnson’s self-made advertisement, which said “If you’re lucky enough to have a Google+ account, add Michael Lee Johnson, Internet Geek, App Developer, Technological Virtuoso” under the headline “Add Michael to Google+” was pulled by Facebook shortly after he posted it. Worse, Facebook took the matter so seriously that the social network banned all of Johnson’s other advertising campaigns. According to CNET the message from Facebook said:
Johnson told CNET that he’s considering taking legal action against Facebook for damage to his reputation and emotional distress. Hit the jump for a screenshot of his Facebook ad. More →
Twitter now delivers an astonishing 350 billion tweets each day, the company said on Friday. ”Delivering 350 billion Tweets a day is a terribly fun engineering challenge. But, it doesn’t capture how passionate our users are,” the company said from its official Twitter Engineering account. Coincidentally we’re sure, the news comes just one day after Google bragged that it had amassed 10 million Google+ users in just two weeks, and that these users collectively share 1 billion items each day. Google+ has quite a way to go before it is anywhere near as popular as Twitter, of course, but it’s certainly doing well for a 2-week-old product. More →
Google’s latest social networking effort may finally be the winner the Internet giant has so desperately been looking for. The invite-only beta service launched late last month and as per the company’s statements made during its earnings call on Thursday, it has already amassed more than 10 million users in just over two weeks. According to user statistics supplied by third-party social monitors SocialStatistics and FindPeopleOnPlus, the overwhelming majority of people using Google+ so far are male. FindPeopleOnPlus tracks nearly a million Google+ profiles and it shows that about three quarters of Plus users are male. SocialStatistics uses a significantly smaller sample of about 30,000 user profiles, but it suggests that 87% of Google+ profiles belong to men. There’s no question that Google+ is the talk of the Web right now, but those looking for a network with a decent sized female population should probably look elsewhere — mySpace, perhaps? More →
Late last week Google took the wraps off of its new social network, Google+. The search engine giant released an Android application in tandem with the launch of Google+, and now it’s been confirmed that an iOS version its on its way. A Google technician, Erica Joy, confirmed on her Google+ page that the iOS app has already been submitted and is simply awaiting Apple’s approval. We’ve been using the new social network for a few days so far and are already really appreciating its “Circles” option — which allows users to share updates, photos, and more, with a specific group of friends or colleagues — and so we’re definitely excited to hear news that the iOS app is imminent. More →