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  1. [Updated] Watch Google’s Google+ Live Streaming Event Today [Stream Ended]

    Watch right here to see how Google is improving Google+.

    Watch Google's live stream of their Google+ event right here.

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  2. Watch Google I/O 2013 Conference Live With Us Today [Live Stream]

    Google's I/O developers conference goes live from San Francisco later this afternoon. If you want to know what the company has planned for the coming year -- and let's face it, you totally do, because whether you like it or hate it, it's going to have a lot of impact -- you're going to want to be tuned in, and we've got you covered with the live stream starting at noon ET/9am PT today. 

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  3. Google+ Blogger Comment Integration Shows Google’s Attempting to Catch Up to Facebook

    In case you have a blog on Blogger, not that I'm saying you should, Google's rolled out a new feature where you can active Google+ comments on your Blogger blog. These work in much the same way as Facebook's commenting system does on third-party sites, so it's clear that Google's starting to eye that part of the market with a little more interest.

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  4. Google Play Integrates Google+, Say Goodbye to Anonymous Reviews

    As we're almost certainly all aware, anonymity and the Internet tend to go hand in hand, but it also allows for a vast amount of people to be horrible to others with almost no culpability. There's no guarantee that removing anonymity would actually stem the tide of trolls, but it's an argument folks make on the regular. Thanks to a recent update, Google Play is no longer a haven for such activity. In order to post reviews, users now have to do so with their Google+ account. Bummer.

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  5. President Obama to Hold Google+ Hangout on January 30th

    The White House is on Google+, are you? If you aren't, you might want to get involved if you want the chance to be part of a Google Hangout with the Prez himself. The White House joined Google+ two days ago, announcing its intention to make use of the Hangout feature. Now the -- understandably complicated -- details of exactly how it will work have come to light.

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  6. Google+ Launches Image Macro Services, Collides Head-On With Memetastic Internet

    Apparently not content to just go after Facebook, Google has announced plans to bring the image macro to Google+. Rolling out over the coming days, the service will allow users to add text over the top of their images like a veritable meme factory.

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  7. Google Merges Google+ Results Into Main Search

    As of today, Google is rolling out a modification to the standard Google search we all know and love. From here on out, your vanilla Google search will also include personal results from your Google+ account. Obviously, if you don't have a Google+ account, this isn't going to affect you too much; but even if you have one you don't frequently use it, you'll probably start noticing a few changes. The three big elements as Google lays them out are the addition of Personal Results, Profiles in Search, and People and Pages.

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  8. Google+ Rolling Out Improvement to News Feed, Pages, Lightbox

    Just in time for the new year, Google will be rolling out a series of improvements to its social network Google+. None of the changes are particularly earth-shattering, but they seem to be the kind of usability fixes that will greatly benefit the people who use those features a lot. Though none of these will draw people to the site, they should make the people who are there happy, which seems to be Google's primary goal so far. They include the new ability to give different circles different "volumes" in your feed, improved notifications, improvements to Google Pages, and an improved Lightbox for photo viewing.

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  9. Britney Spears First to Snag a Million Followers on Google+

    Despite reports suggesting that the honeymoon might be over for Google+, an interesting milestone has surfaced regarding the Google-backed social network. Singer Britney Spears has apparently earned the distinction of being the first Google+ user to get one million followers. That's a helluva lot of circles.

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  10. Google+ Introduces "Ripples," Lets You Watch How Posts Spread

    Ever since Google+ opened up for public use, had a huge traffic spike, and then dropped back off, the social network has continued to take a backseat to Facebook for most. Google+ does have it's faithful users however, and Google is in no way throwing in the towel when it comes to updating the network and making it more and more appealing for the people who use it, and the people who might be interested in coming back to revive their idle account. One of the newest and definitely the most interesting of these improvements is "Ripples." By viewing a public post's ripples, you get access to a whole bunch of information that all social networks collect, but generally keep close to their chests. Not only can you see who shared what with who, growing out in a series of concentric circles, but you can also go back and replay the sharing in scaled time, so you can actually watch how something blew up, even if you didn't catch it until it was already big.

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  11. Google+ Active Use Down 60%

    Despite seeing a 1269% boost when it opened access to everyone, rival to the Facebook throne Google+ has now dropped off a little. According to numbers from Chitika Insights, Google+ has lost about 60% of its active users. While the accounts still exist, they just haven't been used in ages --like mine for example. This means that although Google+ is populated, it is populated largely by tumbleweeds. In the beginning, when Google+ was invite only, it managed to garner a lot of attention by being generally inaccessable. Everyone was clamouring for invites and pouring over the features. That exitement appears to have carried over to the public launch date, but not very far beyond. Breaking through Facebook's strong but-this-is-what-I'm-familiar-with defenses may have proven harder than previously thought.

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  12. Google Plus Traffic Just Went Up 1,269%

    When the closed beta of Google Plus first launched, everyone was stoked about the service, testing out Hangouts with coworkers sitting across the table, and posting about how awesome it was to be included in the limited Google Plus beta. After the initial rush, activity died down, leading to various blogs calling Google Plus a ghost town. Last week, the fledgling social network opened to everyone, allowing anyone to join without requiring a precious invite. As one would expect, this caused a spike in Google Plus traffic. As one may not have expected, however, the spike in traffic represented a staggering 1,269 percent growth. Data from intelligence service Experian Hitwise shows that last week, Google Plus received 15 million visits, up from 1.1 million visits the week before, climbing from ranking 54th in Hitwise's "Social Networking and Forums" category to 8th. Interestingly, the numbers don't account for mobile visits, or even visits from Google's black bar. A post on Google Plus by Paul Allen puts the social network's user base at around 43 million users, which isn't too shabby for a fledgling social network that has to deal with the likes of Facebook and continual criticisms that once one signs up for the service, there isn't much to do after that. (ReadWriteWeb via Techmeme)

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  13. Google+ Membership Increases 30% in Two Days

    Paul Allen, the man who has been tracking the growth of Google+ using name statistics, has posted some interesting new stats on the social network since it became open to the public last week. Since shedding beta status, the site has apparently added 30% to its user base. In terms of individual people, that's about 10 million new members. Amazingly, most of the growth occurred in the 48 hours since the site opened its doors to any and all interested parties. As always, Allen's research is interesting but also far from hard and fast. His system relies on looking at the frequency of names that are, statistically speaking, rare. With that in mind, his numbers are estimates and not a headcount of total users. However, he believes that the fledgling social network is now packing some 43 million total users.  That's a far cry from the over 800 million Facebook members, but it is a nonetheless impressive jump. Now if someone could get a count of active users on those networks, we could get some really interesting analysis. (via Search Engine Land)

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  14. Facebook Blocks Google Chrome "Export Friends" Extension

    One of the biggest deterrents when it comes to using Google+ has been that you have to start over. Think about it, you've probably spent years cultivating your Facebook account, tagging pictures, adding trite quotes to your info page and most of all, acquiring a bajillion "friends." It'd be depressing to go from that huge, comforting, self-affirming number down to, say, two when you start up a Google+ account, right? Enter Mohamed Mansour's Facebook Friend Exporter for Google Chrome. The extension wasn't made for Google+ migration, but it happens to do the job well. That's probably why Facebook decided to block it.

    The extension works by going through and collecting your Facebook friends' email account, which likely serves as their identity elsewhere on the internet (unless they still log into Facebook with an embarrassingly-named Hotmail account from high school, like I certainly don't). In order to keep this from happening, Facebook recently implemented measures that will hide an email account from you if you frequent the owners profile page on a regular basis. While it's troubling that Facebook has taken the initiative to take information that was explicitly shared with you (email addresses between friends) and hide it, taking emails from off the site is technically a violation of Facebook's Terms of Service. Whatever the case, the spirit of this new restriction seems a little bit, well, petty. For the time being, the extension still sort of works, and a determined user can wiggle their way around the new restrictions. Check out ZDNet for instructions on coaxing the extension to work, but be warned, coaxing probably won't work for long. (via ZDNet)

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  15. Google+ Emphasizes Privacy, but Has Privacy Issues Already

    Google's new social networking attempt Google+, which is currently in an invite-only trial period, is already having some privacy issues. You might say "it's a social network, of course there are privacy issues" and you would be right, but you'd also be ignoring the fact that Google+ marketing tauts Google+ as not having those problems. Privacy issues do kind of come with the territory, but Google's insistence that they don't have to makes this all the more of a shot in the foot.

    So what's the breach? Well, as you probably know, Google+ organizes members and their connections to each other with "Circles." This way you can post something to a specific Circle instead of the world at large. The issue seems to be that when you post something to a Circle, any receiving members can repost it with varying levels of privacy, up to and including "totally public." Alright, so that's a little disconcerting, but you should be able to turn reposting off, right? You can, but only after the post in question has been published -- and you have to do it for each, individual post. Okay, okay, Google+ is only taking its first steps here and what new service doesn't have issues that need to be patched up? The issue is, this crack happens to be running right down the keystone that's holding the whole service together. Hopefully Google can respond swiftly and appropriately without jeopardizing the trust of its many potential users.

    (via FT Tech Hub)

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