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Google+ Launching a “Suggested User” List

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Do you have more than 100,000 followers on Twitter? Yeah, me neither but for those of you who do, you could end up on the Google+ “Suggested user” list.

According to a tweet Google’s Bradley Horowitz put out today, Google+ is about to pilot a Twitter-like suggested user program. He tweeted, “We’re about to pilot a ‘suggested user’-like mechanism on Google+. If you’ve got more than 100k followers on Twitter, DM me – lets talk!”

The details on this are very slim and how they will decide on this “Suggested-User” list, other than the fact they are looking for Twitter users with 100k+ followers, is unknown.

It is interesting how they are seeking out those on Twitter for this list.

This story is still developing and we’ll let you know if any more information is released, or if Google makes a statement about this new feature.

Google+ Business Profiles in Testing (Maybe) & How to Find Them

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Google+ has said they have every intention of welcoming brands to create a profile on the social networking site, but when they’re ready. As of now, brands can not create a page, but that should change by the end of the year.

Their latest feature addition included the verification badges where celebrities, public figures and people who have been added to a large number of circles, can have their identities verified with a check mark and a small “verified name” badge.

The next logical step is to open the flood gates for the brands and businesses. One Google+ user created a video that shows Google seems to be in the early testing phases of allowing brands and businesses to join. Watch the video below.

So, as you saw in the video, when you edit your Google + profile, under both the Employer and Education fields, there is a pre-populated list of companies to choose from. Now, this could just be Google’s way of simply adding more options for users, but we all know the time for brands to join Google+ is most likely coming very, very soon.

So – what do you think, is Google+ getting ready to open the doors to brands and businesses?

You Can Now Ignore People on Google+

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Google+ wants to make sure some of their features represent those real-life relationships we all have (you do have those right?), so they’ve introduced a couple of new options.

The new options are called ignore and block. So, just like IRL (in real life) you can choose who you connect with and who you don’t. I’m not sure if I’ve ever blocked someone in person, but I’ve been known to ignore a time or two.

Olga Wichrowska posted about these new options yesterday evening.

The Block option “limits the ways a person can interact with what you’re sharing”;  meaning you have absolutely no desire to have anything to do with them. They’ll be removed from your circles, they won’t be able to interact with you by commenting on your posts and you won’t see their stream.

The Ignore option means “you’ll see less of what a person is sharing”. In other words they are boring you, you’re not interested in what they have to say but you don’t mind them still interacting with your content.

Google+ says they will not let the person know you have blocked or ignored them, although I think the blocking option will become fairly obvious to them when they can’t interact with you.

If you change your mind about the person, you can always un-ignore or un-block them by going to the “More Actions” on the Circles page.

Google+ started the roll-out of these options yesterday, so keep an eye out for them. There are several different places to find both of these options on your Google+ profile, which are explained in the video below, as well as the transcript version here.

You Can Now Do More with the Google +1 Button

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Google made an announcement today regarding their +1 button.

Most likely, you’ve seen the Google +1 button around here and there and maybe, just maybe you’ve actually clicked on it. Some have been asking what rewards there are when clicking the button. In the past Google has said it helps with search engine results, by showing pages you have given a +1 to in your friends’ searches.

The +1 button might be a little bigger than some thought. According to Google, in July it received over 2 billion views a day and appears on more than a million sites. The momentum is there and now with this latest announcement, you might have more reason than ever to click it.

The +1 button now allows you to share with your Google Circles, directly from the page you are sharing on. Google says that “beginning today, we’re making it easy for Google+ users to share webpages with their circles, directly from the +1 button. Just +1 a page as usual and look for the new ‘Share on Google+’ option. From there you can comment, choose a circle and share”.

For more on the new +1 button, sharing on Google+ and +snippets (where they automatically include a link when you share), watch this video.

Google+ Begins Roll Out on Verification Badges

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Google+ seems to move pretty fast don’t you think? First, they added the Google+ games feature (which I’ve been tinkering around with here and there) and now they’ve made another move. The beginning of the verification badge roll out has begun!

The program makes it so that celebrities, public figures and people who have been added to a large number of circles, can have their identities verified with a check mark and a small “verified name” badge.

Back during the middle of July, actor William Shatner’s Google+ account was suspended reportedly because Google+ had no way of knowing if he was the real deal or not. He quickly got his account back and now, Mr. William Shatner has his very own verified name badge.

Google+ team member Wen-Ai Yu posted a message about the new program. She said, “We’re starting to roll out verification badges on profiles so you can be sure the person you’re adding to a circle is who they claim to be. Check out the video below (or my profile) to see what these verification badges look like.”

Here’s the video.

Wen-Ai Yu also pointed out they are working on expanding this feature to more people.

Do you think this is one more step towards allowing brands to have a presence on Google+?

Is Google+ a Failure? One Forbes Writer Says Yes

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Now that we’ve all had some time to test out Google+ and the excitement has died down a little, can we go ahead and call it a failure? Or is it still too early to dig it a grave?

Forbes writer Paul Tassi is officially calling Google+ dead. When he clicks on his newsfeed, all he sees is “tumbleweed blowing through the barren, blank page”. He’s also calling it a “a vast and empty wasteland, full of people who signed up but never actually stuck around to figure out how things worked in this new part of town”.

When he heads back on over to Facebook, he sees a vibrant community full of people still posting updates, still posting photos and still as active as ever.

Sure, people are complaining about Facebook and some of its privacy issues or lack of certain features they want, but they don’t seem to be flooding the gates of Google+. They’re still on Facebook.

So what’s the one flaw Tassi says Google+ has? It’s simple really. He says, “It’s not Facebook”.

So tell us – is Google+ a failure or is it still to early to make a call like this?

Game On! Facebook Launches New Gaming Features

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It’s game on for Facebook who in the midst of Google+ announcing their new games, unveiled some new gaming features of their own. This little back and forth between Google+ and Facebook is getting fun isn’t it?

Facebook’s new gaming features include the Game Ticker, where you’ll see a separate column on the right hand side that includes your friends’ game activity, scores and achievements. Just click on a Game Ticker story and it will take you directly to that game, making the whole experience very social oriented.

They also introduced a bigger screen for game play. Games such as CityVille and Zoo World can now be expanded to a full screen.

Another feature includes bookmarking your favorite games. If you are an active Facebook gamer, you can now keep the best ones at the top for easy access. They’ve made it super easy for you to edit, rearrange or delete the games in your bookmark.

It’s hard to compare Facebook’s games to Google+ games since most of us don’t have access to Google’s yet. If you have had the chance to play the new Google+ games, let us know your thoughts.

Google+ Gradually Rolling Out Games

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Google made an announcement on their official blog today regarding the games we’ve all been hearing about. They are gradually rolling out games on Google+ and so far, they seem to have a decent selection to get you started.

Google+ is all about sharing, but as they pointed out, sharing is more than just having a conversation. It’s also about playing and having fun, which is where Google+ games comes into the picture. Google wants to “make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life”.

Google+ games gives you complete control over when you see them and who you share them with. Not interested in playing games? No problem. They’ve made them easy for you to ignore.

For a list of games and how to get started, visit the Google blog. Now, pardon me while I go play some Angry Birds. Are you planning on giving Google+ games a whirl?

Google is Actively Working on Bringing Realtime Search Back

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In July, Google took down their Realtime Search when they could not come to an agreement with Twitter in regards to access to the company’s data. Realtime Search was Google’s way of delivering relevant information, such as breaking news and major world events. Without Twitter, they said “the value the product was providing was not enough”.

During a panel discussion in Mountain View, California, Google fellow Amit Singhal said they are “actively working” on bringing back Realtime Search which will include data from Google+. It seems they think the Realtime Search can be just as powerful and relevant without Twitter results, since the deal has expired and doesn’t seem to be coming back.

When the panel was asked why the Google+ stream doesn’t have its own search engine, the response was “we are on it”.

Do you think Google’s Realtime Search can deliver enough relevant information without Twitter’s stream involved?

 

Google+ Reaches 25 Million User Mark

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It’s been a few days since we’ve posted anything about Google+, but that definitely doesn’t mean it’s slowed down like we first heard.

In fact, the new social network has reached 25 million users in less than a month, according to comScore and engagement on the site is also increasing.

Last week Experian Hitwise, reported that Google+ users were spending less and less time there and that visits fell by 3%. The average time on site had also fallen by 10%, they said.

But, comScore’s research is showing that people spent around 50% more time on the network in the week ending July 24th than the week ending July 10th.

What’s with the recent growth and more time on the site? Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore, said during a conference call that Gmail penetration seems to be the key factor. He said, “If you think about it, Gmail is where your social network through Google is likely to exist”.

Are you spending more or less time on Google+ these days?

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