Antimatter15, author of the popular Surplus Chrome extension, was suspended from Google+ for using a pseudonym instead of a name that fits Google's community standards. As such, he's no longer supporting the extension, and if you're using it, now might be a good time to find a replacement. It's a reminder that nothing on the web is guaranteed to work forever. Luckily, there's no shortage of innovative coders whipping up creative and useful Google Chrome extensions.
Feeling fed up with the inability to collapse comments? Tired of the monotonous layout of Google+? Whatever your complaint with Google+ may be, there's likely a Chrome extension that fixes it for you.
- G+me - One of the most useful and popular Google+ Chrome extensions I've come across. It lets you collapse comments and posts, and mark comments as read. This is amazing if you follow people who draw a lot of attention, post multiple times a day, and have a lot of commenters. (See +Tom Anderson, +Robert Scoble, etc.) Authored by +Huy Zing.
- Gif Stopper - Not specifically a Google+ extension, but it works. People on Google+ love to share animated gifs, but what if you don't want to be distracted by hamsters? This extension stops the nonsense before it starts. Authored by +Terry Moore.
- Google+ Refined - This extension inserts custom CSS into your Google+ tab and makes it easier to read and view.
- Google Plus Bar Minus - If you find the Google toolbar annoying, you can hide it with this extension.
- Search Extension for Google+ - While you can manually add Google+ search to Chrome, wouldn't it be much easier if someone else did it for you? In addition to searching public Google+ posts and profiles, you can also see results from Google Buzz and Google Reader. Authored by +Andrew Shen.
- Circlestar for Google+ - You can't bookmark anything in Google+ yet, unless you decide to share a post to an empty circle. Doing so will clutter up your stream, so this extension lets you star posts like emails can be starred in Gmail for later reference. Authored by +Guy Wyant.
- Native Gmail for Google+ - This extension integrates Gmail into your Google+ profile.
- Tweetify for Google+ - Are you feeling information overload in your stream? This extension compresses posts into 140 characters, streamlining your Google+ experience. Authored by +Peteris Erins.
- Google Music+ - This extension is fun if you've started playing with Google Music. Post the song you're currently listening to into your Google+ stream.
- Mute Plus - This extension is meant for you to protect yourself. Mute some people in your main stream, and you can view them in their individual circles. This comes in handy if you like to follow people who post a lot of NSFW content. Authored by +Aaron Clifford.
- MyStream for Google+ - The default stream in Google+ is everyone in your circles. This can create a lot of "noise" for you, especially if you like to follow a lot of different people. This extension lets you choose who you want to see in your main stream.
Hangouts just may be the best thing about Google+. It's a great way to connect, and have a lot of fun with both friends and strangers. The experience can be improved, though, and these extensions help do that.
- Hangout Auto Try Again - For hangout addicts, this extension saves you the trouble of clicking again and again to get into popular hangout sessions. Authored by +Mohamed Mansour, who's also created other popular Google Chrome extensions.
- Hangouts finder for Google+ - Feeling lonely? This extension helps you find and share public hangouts. Created by +Bryan Bamford.
- Quick Hangouts for Google+ - This extension monitors your stream and adds a quick link to your sidebar so you'll never miss a hangout.
I think the +1 button is definitely under-utilized in Google+. It's not really ubiquitous, like the Facebook "like" button, so you don't notice it as much. However, if you use these extensions to incorporate it into your web browsing environment, you'll be able to have a lot of fun with it.
- Tweets +1 - This extension adds a +1 button to tweets. Authored by Seth Ladd.
- +OneFB - Adds the +1 button to Facebook posts. Anything you +1 will show up on your Google+ profile. Authored by +Hoai-Tuong Nguyen.
- +1 Button - +1 anything you come across on the web.
- 1-Up for Google+ - Change your +1 button into a 1 Up mushroom from Super Mario. It also plays the 1-Up sound when you click it, although that can be disabled. Authored by +Jason Moborak.
This isn't the entire list of useful Google+ extensions. Hopefully, some of these extensions can help you enhance your Google+ experience, and get more out of it. If I've missed any useful or innovative extensions, let me know in the comment section below.
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