Google+ has managed to double their user count from three months ago, now standing at over 90 million Google+ accounts created. But how did it get so many so quick? By tricking people who are signing up for Gmail or a regular Google account into setting up a Google+ account, too.
As Google+ is still in its Limited Field Trial phase, joining can feel quite lonely. You can't exactly get all your friends and family in during the brief periods when the invitation system opens up. You can, however, add several interesting people to your "Following" Circle to keep up with developments as they happen.
If you've gained entry into Google+, one of the first things you should do is adjust your Google account settings. Your settings will now look quite different, and you can adjust your notifications, password retrieval methods, and more. There are many settings that you may not have been aware of before.
Last week, we discussed whether Google should require you to use your real name for Google+ profiles. Google is working on eliminating fake profiles, and in the process, they've booted some real people, including actor +William Shatner. If you find out that your Google+ account has been suspended, you can appeal the suspension and get your profile reinstated.
Facebook unveiled a lot of changes last week, and, as usual, it's causing a lot of consternation and controversy. People within my Facebook, and on Google+, keep asking how to remove the ticker, and are trying, and mostly failing to make sense of the changes.
Welcome to the Google+ Insider's Guide to all things Google+. We're dedicated to keeping you updated with all the latest news, tips and tricks on Google+, and this official index will serve as a one-stop catalog of all our How-To articles, as well as all the news & updates we've covered over time.
We've provided Google insiders, Google's community managers, authors, and celebrities for you to add to your circles. This week, we've discovered over 100 brilliant photographers for you to follow.
A Google+ depository for: browser and standalone applications and extensions, icon packs and other resources by Graham Smith
Google+ is nearly complete. We've got hangouts, pages, photos, games, and lots of ways to share what we love and build an audience. But it seems like Google isn't quite done yet. Since most of Google+ has been "shipped", it's now time to "ship the Google" as +Larry Page mentioned in the quarterly report.
While using Google+, it's been apparent that there are two types of posters. There are the people who post thoughtful, serious posts about everything from tech to dealing with cancer. And then there are the meme propagators, the people who decide to rick roll others (ahem, +Bryan Crow), and constantly put up animated gifs. Sometimes they are the same people, and this is where it gets a little controversial.
The lack of a search function within Google+ is driving me crazy. It takes me way too much time to find the posts I want to save and refer back to, and it's counter-productive for Google to launch their social networking product without an integrated search.
While we're waiting for Google to sort out the mess over suspended Google+ accounts, it's a good reminder that you have the option to download much of your Google+ data with Google Takeout. Google Takeout, created by an internal Google engineering team marketed as the Data Liberation Front, is a free service that provides a handy and easy way to download data from your Google+ stream, your contacts and circles, and other information in a zip file.
Get the New Google Navigation Menu Although Google introduced the new Google bar last week, I still didn't have the new look yet. I was curious to see if I could find it, and discovered that +Maximiliam Majewski found a workaround to get access to the new Google bar. It's no longer the black navigation bar at the top of the page, but rather a drop-down menu on the left-hand side, from the Google menu. Install a browser extension that allows you to edit the cookies.
One of my biggest frustrations with Google+ right now is the inability to search my stream, as well as the lack of any bookmarking features. To find posts I want to refer to, I either have to type in the name of the person who posted the status, or I have to keep hitting the "More" button to find what I need. Both ways are inefficient.
Yesterday, I started receiving emails from Google+ that looked like this: I was really confused. I was confident that I had already gone through my personal Google+ account notification settings, and turned off all email notifications. I noticed that there was a link at the bottom of the email, that said I could change what email Google+ sends you. When I clicked on it, it took me to my newly created Google+ page's settings: +Yum!
Facebook has been "improving" their interface in several different ways in attempt to combat the threat of Google+. One big change is the introduction of a news ticker in the top right corner that constantly feeds updates from friends and organizations you are connected with on Facebook. Not only do some people find the ticker annoying due to the constant stream of text flowing across it, but many felt unnerved by the fact that every “Like” or comment on a profile could instantly be seen acro...
Both Google+ and Facebook are competing for your time and space, and your commitment to one social network. To make their spaces more attractive to you, they've both made it easier for you to deal with people you don't like or don't care for.
These days, I keep multiple browsers open so I can keep track of all my work and personal items. As a staff member of WonderHowTo, a lot of my work is done through our Google Account, which is separate from my personal Google Account.
Justin Bee outlines a method to update Facebook from your Google+ account without actually having to go download an extension. Basically you set up your Facebook account to receive your Google+ posts as email to your Facebook Wall. There's a limitation though - text will truncate after 50 characters, so make sure your messages to Facebook users are short and sweet.
Like Facebook, Google+ is a great platform for sharing and viewing photographs. Many talented photographers have already uploaded their portfolios, and in addition to easy album sharing, Google+ offers something Facebook does not—simple editing features for enhancing your photos upon uploading. Below, how to instantly upload via smartphone, plus a quick run through of the basic editing tools available.
Hangouts are one of the most fun features in Google+. As long as you have a webcam and a microphone, you can "hangout" with up to 10 of your buddies on Google+ and do just about anything. Of course, sometimes it can get kind of awkward when you are hanging out and you don't really have anything to say. This problem can be mitigated if you host hangouts with a plan.
Google+ is the most exciting new social network to come around this decade, and the only product with a chance of challenging the monopolies we know as Facebook and Twitter. As an Internet addict, I've joined every major social network there is - from Friendster (who?) to MySpace (so ugly) to LinkedIn (yawn) to Twitter (irritating) and Facebook (annoying to manage). Competition is delicious, especially between well-financed monopolies. Google+ really seems to have identified an Achille's heel...
Google Reader is ostensibly just an RSS aggregator, a tool that lets you catch up on your favorite blogs. How could Google have anticipated that getting rid of its social features could have angered so many people who were actually using it as their default social network, and who enjoyed it precisely because it didn't function like Facebook or Google+?
It's a question I've been pondering a lot lately. Technically, children under the age of 13 are not allowed to join Facebook. But according to a Consumer Reports in May, 7.5 million children 12 and younger are already on the site. Currently, federal law prohibits websites from collecting personal data from children without parental permission. The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, as it is more commonly known, has been in effect since 1998, but has not been updated since.
One of the primary goals of a social network is for you to share what you find interesting with your followers and friends, but on Google+, sharing has so many layers that it can be confusing for most people to really take advantage of it properly. Some of the tools in place that enable you do deal with spam and manage your privacy aren't very clear, so this week's round up is all about how you can share what you want with who you want on Google+.
+Nik Cubrilovic discovered last week that Facebook could track your web activities even after you logged out of your Facebook account. After some blatant denials from Facebook spokespeople, Facebook decided to fix the logout issue, but not before +Michael Arrington, on his new Uncrunched blog, made a concise post revealing Facebook's dishonesty: Facebook submitted a patent application for "tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain...
This week has been pretty exciting for both Facebook and Google. Facebook announced a slew of features that seem on the surface to copy Google+. For Google+ users, a lot of improvements, updates and features were implemented, and they're seeing a lot more overall integration with their Google account.
Google+ launched their API for public data today. For now it provides read-only access to public data in the form of People & Activities. Here are some links to get you started:
It's been an eventful week for Google+. Facebook decided to up its game and start rolling out several major updates intended to address privacy concerns. We got a glimpse into the future of Google+ via an insightful discussion between +Bradley Horowitz and +Tim O'Reilly. And Google decided to integrate the +1 button more fully with Google+ by allowing users to share directly from the +1 button. That's not all, though—scroll down for more news & updates that occurred in the past week.
Yesterday, Google's VP of Product Management, +Bradley Horowitz, sat down with founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, +Tim O'Reilly, to discuss Google+, its future, and where it's headed. You can watch the hour-long video here: I wasn't able to find a transcript for this video, but O'Reilly has helpfully rounded up some of the more interesting points.
After the launch of Google+ and its ensuing attendant fanfare and rave reviews, Facebook seemed to undergo an identity crisis. On July 6th, Facebook failed to make waves with its "awesome" announcement - the new group chat and video chat features felt lame in comparison to the Google+ hangout and huddle features. Facebook also faced ongoing criticism for its perceived lack of privacy controls. Over on Quora, workers confirmed a lockdown of sorts at Facebook, for employees to work harder on fe...
Circle me at http://jameslawsonsmith.info/+
In a gesture to bring the social qualities of Google+ into the real world, photographer +Trey Ratcliff invited his Google+ followers to join him on a photowalk this past Thursday, held on the Stanford University campus. Over 150 people showed up to take pictures with fellow Googlers and Google+ users, and to socialize in "real life". This group photo was taken by professional photographer +Peter Adams.
From cooking shows to concerts, people have been finding all sorts of creative uses for Google+ hangouts. But what about something a little more basic? What if you could watch YouTube live streams with your friends?
If you want more people to follow you on Google+, you'll have to work for it. Not everyone can be +Tom Anderson or +Robert Scoble overnight, you know.
Last week, I demonstrated how to go a little deeper into your Google+ profiles, photos, and introduced cross-posting. This week, I'm highlighting a bunch of different unofficial resources that have sprung up that will help improve your Google+ experience, and give you the latest updates on Google+ Photos.
The group social networking application Fridge has been purchased by Google, and two of its team members will be moving to Mountain View to work on the Google+ team. Fridge, in addition to being a group social sharing site, has photo and event sharing features. The event and calendar-sharing are popular requested features for Google+ users.
Google started culling Google+ accounts. There are two main targets: businesses and those who are using pseudonyms. For businesses, Google is promising to provide their own version of Facebook Pages, which will be released later this year. For those who use pseudonyms, they aren't so lucky. According to Google+'s community standards, users must "use the name your friends, family, or co-workers usually call you". The purpose of this rule is ostensibly to discourage spammers and people from set...
+Randall Munroe, the man behind the web's most popular web comic, XKCD, has always had a knack for getting to the heart of the larger social issues on the web. During the 1st 48 hours after Google+ started letting non-Googlers in, one of the most shared posts within its private walls was his latest comic about Google+:
With the Google+ team members being generous and free-flowing with advice on some of the more advanced features of Google+, we'll be publishing a weekly summary of the latest pro tips. Chances are, if you've been following the Google+ team members, you've seen some of these already but you don't have them all in one handy place.