If there were any doubts that Google is looking to have Google+ pervade all areas of your life, those doubts are now fading. Brand pages now appear in Google search results, with a convenient “Add to Circles” button right on the search page. Whether you’re ready or not, Google+ is going to be invading your life.
Google+ now supports brand pages, and 40Tech is there with our own page. We’re working out exactly how we’ll be using the page, but if you want to keep up with all things 40Tech, head on over and circle us. We’re still digging around, looking for other great pages to follow, and we’ve listed some below. If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments.
We’re big fans of Google+ here at 40Tech. In fact, if you follow the Twitter accounts of either 40Tech or Bobby Travis, you’ll see that we’re not posting there quite as much as we did in the past. Are we alone in the way Google+ has detracted from our ability to be as active on Twitter? Let us know how your social media usage has changed since Google+ has arrived.
Google Buzz is going the way of the dinosaur — or maybe the Dodo is a better analogy. Either way, as of November 14th, the hopeful attempt at getting in on some of that Twitter juice will simply fade away. Google’s on to bigger things now — like trying to get a piece of that Facebook pie, with some Twitter a la mode. Sounds nummy, right? Or maybe I’m just getting hungry…
Google officially announced the retirement of the Gmail-integrated Buzz on October 14th, but some of you may only now be getting the little pop-up notification in your Inbox. I got mine yesterday and I realized that, in a weird way, I’ll miss the service. It seemed like it had so much potential, at first. We even wrote about why we figured it wouldn’t flop – oh, wait… that was Wave. What can I say… we’re optimists. In any case, the integration of Buzz was handled badly, the “bubble up” experience was annoying (to say the least), and the UI design was the former and most unfortunate Google Ugly.
Thankfully, Google+ not only cannibalized some of the best that Buzz had to offer, but it also was designed with the understanding that minimalist can be pretty, too. The jury’s still out on whether or not Google’s latest social offering will see long-term development, but the Magic 8 Ball — and my never-ending, aforementioned optimism — tells me that chances are good…
So, anyway… If you want to view or keep your Google Buzz content, you can still see it on your Google Profile, and you can download it via Google Takeout — a very handy service, I might add.
On a final note, does anyone else find it funny that the “Google Buzz is going away…” post in the Big G’s Gmail Help pages can be actually shared on Buzz — and that there is a button to open up Sidewiki as well? Just me…?
So let’s get the dust out of the air right away: I am fully aware that “awesomer” is not a word. I am also fully aware that all of the big tech blogs and probably everybody else with a post up today (or yesterday, by the time you read this) has already talked about this. I don’t care. This is 40Tech dammit! And I want to talk about it. With you.
So here it is: Google+ dropped a ton of new goodness for their social network today, opened it up to the public (bye bye preview, hello open beta!), and worked with wil.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas (who also loves the tech) to put together the first publicly broadcast on YouTube video Hangout. Big day — and those are barely the highlights.
Here’s the Big Sign — Come One Come All!
Here’s Just a Few of the New Features
It’s finally here. You can search for whatever in the Google+ search box and get back relevant people, posts, and web content. You get the public stuff and the items that only you can see.
Hangouts on Your Mobile Device
Available for Android first, of course, with iOS on the docket soon. Full-fledged multi-person video chat while on the go.
Hangouts On Air
Webinars, video broadcasts to large audiences (with up to nine other people to team up with), and session recording for those who miss it. The broadcasts are limited for the moment, but anyone can watch.
Hangouts with More Awesome!
Screensharing, sketchpad, Google Docs sharing, and the ability to name your Hangouts so you can focus your topic. These are still under construction, According to the Google Blog, but you can try them out by clicking “Hangouts with extras” in the green room.
Messenger for Mobile (Formerly Huddle) — Also More Awesome.
You can now share photos in your mobile chats!
And let’s not forget that they’ve dropped their first API for developers to play with. Klout has already jumped on board, adding Google+ to their social scoring platform, and you know that others are going to start coming out of the woodwork too, especially as the API improves and allows for more integration possibilities — for example, they are going to be releasing some Hangout APIs soon…
Here’s the Bottom Line
I’m not saying that Google+ doesn’t still have its work cut out for it, especially with social networking overload already frustrating the hell out of your average, or even super-social-geek, user. The kid gloves are off though. The most widely used tool for finding information has made Google+ its focal point. Google is creating a platform to personalize search, and give you a permanent home on the web — you can search for new information, search for things your friends are talking about, easily find and share and talk about whatever interests you, do all of that withonly the people you care to, play games by yourself or socially, easily upload and share pictures, hangout with people via chat or video from your computer or your mobile device, broadcast yourself for the hell of it or for conferences or webinars, handle (or even throw away) your email, and more more more for the simple and effective cost of free.
Facebook may have the people, at the moment, but Google+ isn’t going away. Remember when Gmail came out? It didn’t look like a very likely competitor to Hotmail or any other webmail service at the time. Look at it now — especially since the rise of Google Apps. Google hasn’t even launched the business aspect of Google+ yet. What do you think will happen then?
What are your thoughts on the new, fancy, public Google+?