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.
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 →