Google Quietly Intros New Google+ Share & +1 Buttons

new-gplus-share-button Look right above this sentence. Have you noticed the new Google +1 button? If not, you're probably not alone. Unlike Facebook's new "Like" button announcement earlier this week, Google hasn't said much yet about its new buttons. Google employee Paul Lindner posted about them in the Developing with Google+ community on Google+. He says that the +1 and Share buttons are now consistent with the Follow and Badge widgets. The change is mainly coloring: The +1 and Share buttons used to be a light gray, while the new ones are white. If you're using the +1 and/or Share buttons on your [...]


Keep Out: Restricted Google+ Communities Help Keep Conversations Private

Restricted-Google+-Communities Like the functionality of Google+ communities, but don't want to expose your content shared to the world? Well now Google's got a solution for you: Restricted Google+ communities. Companies will now have the ability to create invite only communities or restricted communities that are open to those with email addresses specific to a domain name. This is an ideal solution for internal teams or specific projects as users can share files directly from Google Drive. Community owners can manage membership, change settings or invite others. The default setting for restricted communities will d [...]


Social Media Checklist For New Websites & Businesses

social media As a startup company or small business, it is no longer an option to ignore social media as a means of communication, promotion and possibly even recruitment or revenue. That's true for any business new to the internet, as well. However, diving head-first into an ever-expanding realm of social media networks can feel overwhelming at best. Each platform has not only a unique audience of users, but also its own idiosyncrasies when it comes to usernames, imagery and usage. Below is a step-by-step guide to establishing business accounts on the top eight social networks. As time and personnel [...]


Google+ Invades The Android 4.4 “KitKat” Phone App: What It Means For Businesses & People

google-kitkat-nexus5-featured Practically no one has a phone with Google's latest Android 4.4 operating system on it yet. But the system, nicknamed KitKat, will shortly be spreading beyond the Nexus 5 launched last week. When it does, people with Android 4.4 will discover that their phone's dialer has become integrated with Google+. That'll have a big impact on how business and people are found, plus how things appear when calls come in. A primer on the change. What's The Phone App & The Dialer? The "phone" part of "smartphone" is about making voice calls. Remember those? The Phone app is how you make those calls i [...]


Google Helpouts: Answers Meets Knol Meets Hangouts

google-helpouts-featured With Google's new live-video Helpouts we might ask: will the third time be the charm? The first time Google tried to operate an expert network was Google Answers, which eventually got killed by free services such as Yahoo Answers. The second time was Google Knol, an author network that was supposed to develop into a higher quality version of something like Wikipedia. It was shuttered in May 2012. Interestingly, that project was championed by Udi Manber, who seems to be one of the leads behind Helpouts. Helpouts rides on top of the Google+ Hangouts infrastructure. It's real-time video cha [...]


Google: “In Stream” Activity On Google+ Doesn’t Only Happen On Google+ Itself

google-plus-logo-tilt Google reported this week that Google+ now has 300 million monthly "in stream" users -- a number that places it well ahead of the 215 million monthly active users that Twitter recently listed in its pre-IPO S-1 document. But, as is often the case with usage numbers (and not just those related to Google+), the definition of an "in stream" user isn't as obvious as it may seem. Ex-WSJ writer Amir Efrati wrote this week that, according to former Google employees, Google counts clicks on the Google+ notifications icon (currently a bell, formerly a red button) as being "in stream" on Google+. [...]


The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Has The Scoop On Google’s Mystery Barge: It’s A Trap!

What's in that giant mystery barge that's owned by Google in San Francisco Bay. There's speculation it might be a floating data center or a shop for Google Glass. But the Daily Show's Jon Stewart finds it's an opportunity to poke fun at Google+, as well as Google's ambitious plans to bring wifi to the world and cure death. More ominously, floating barges mean Google has us surrounded by land, sea and air. Here's the full video, if you want to watch it first without the spoilers below: Stewart starts off with a recap that no one knows what this Google project is about, sort of like G [...]


Google’s Giving Out More Vanity URLs; Terms They Might Cost In Future Remain

google-plus-red-128 Fourteen months after the initial appearance of Google+ vanity URLs have been launched to a wider audience, but according to the terms of use they may just cost you in the future. If you or your brand is eligible for a custom URL, you'll receive a  email allowing you to claim the URL. The subject will read either "Get a custom URL for your Google+ profile" or "Get a custom URL for your Google+ page" and will look like the following: If the custom URL is approved, you can then confirm on the next page with a pre-checked Terms of Service box: Once completed, you'll have successfully clai [...]


Google+ Hits 300 Million Active Monthly “In-Stream” Users, 540 Million Across Google

google+ logo As expected, Google touted the growth of its "social layer" Google+ during a special event today that also saw the introduction of 18 new features. The big numbers that Google talked about are as follows: 540 million monthly active Google+ users: This is the number of people with Google accounts that interact with Google+ each month in some way on any Google property. That could include leaving a comment on a blog or website that has Google+ comments embedded, commenting on YouTube, or clicking the +1 button on an article or some other web content. Here's the chart Google used showing [...]


Google+ Gains Auto Awesome Movie Maker; Hangouts Get SMS Support & More

Google has announced three new Google+ "Auto Awesome" photo features: Action, Eraser and an iMovie Trailers-like Auto-Awesome Movie tool. The Google+ Hangouts app for Android also gains location sharing, animated GIF support and SMS integration. Google+ Hangouts On Air gain landing pages and a new "Control Room" menu. [caption id="attachment_63350" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Summary slide from the close of today's Google+ event[/caption] These, as well as new Google+ user figures and other changes, were announced during an event the company held with local tech press, as well as se [...]


Google Announces “A Morning With Google+” Event Tomorrow

google-plus-red-128 Google has announced plans for a live event tomorrow that'll be about Google+ and -- of course -- streamed lived on Google+. But if you're looking for details, good luck. The announcement only says, "The Google+ team will be sharing a few updates" and links to this page where the live stream will happen. It's set to begin at 9:30 am PT. It's been a while since Google has shared Google+ usage numbers, so that's one possibility -- perhaps along with new features? Keep in mind, too, that Facebook will be sharing its latest usage numbers on Wednesday when its latest quarterly earnings [...]


Google+ Pages Get New Communication Manager Role

google-plus-featured Google+ product manager John Kilcline announced today Google+ pages now have a new Communications Manager role. According to Kilcline's post, anyone selected as a Google+ page Communication Manager can post content, reply to Google+ page followers and use the Communities and Events features, but will not be able to edit pages, managers, or any connected YouTube channels. "Many brands and businesses have employees who focus on audience engagement - from posting content, to answering questions, to just keeping things fun," writes Kilcline to explain the new role's purpose. He goes on to cl [...]


Google Launches Media Tools Website For Journalists

Google Logo - basic featured Google released a new site this week geared toward media outlets and journalists. The new site offers an extensive set of Google Media Tools, all neatly assembled into one place. According to Google, the site is a "Starting point to tap into Google's suite of digital tools that can enhance news gathering and exposure across television, radio, print and online." With overviews, tips, and "Getting Started" links for each tool, the website is arranged into six categories: Gather and Organize, Engage, Visualize, Publish, Develop and Additional Resources. From the 'Gather and Organize' [...]


Google+ Drives A Fraction Of The Referral Traffic That Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter Do [Report]

google-plus-featured Google+ is driving a fraction of the referral traffic to publisher sites that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media sites are. That's the main takeaway from an annual report released today by Shareaholic, makers of social sharing buttons and widgets that the company says are used by 200,000 publishers. The report covers September 2012 -- when Shareaholic last published network sharing data -- through September 2013. According to Shareaholic, Google+ has consistently driven less than one-tenth of one percent (> 0.1%) of all referral traffic to its publishers over the past [...]


No, Eric Schmidt’s Face Isn’t All Over Google+ In Protest Over Shared Endorsement Ads

Google Protest It sounded huge. Angered by Google expanding the use of social profile information in advertising, Google+ users were changing their profile pictures to that of Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt in protest. So went several reports. The reality is practically no one is doing this. For the few who are, good news. Google's rules about profiles probably allow you to continue. Google's Shared Endorsements Ads Expand On Friday, Google announced that it would be expanding the use of "Shared Endorsements" in ads. Google already had been using the pictures and names of people who make use of its [...]


FAQ: All About Google’s New “Shared Endorsement” Ads

On November 11, Google is expanding the use of "Shared Endorsements" in ads, where people's images and the things they like, comment on, rate or have reviewed through the Google+ social network can be used. Here's the rundown on how it works and how it differs from what Google already does. Doesn't Google already use social info in its ads? Yes. That's one of the most confusing things about today's announcement. For over two years, Google has allowed advertisers to show if people like their content within ads. Below is a March 2011 example of how Google explained that advertisers could in [...]


YouTube Comments Soon To Get The Google+ Treatment

youtube-google-plus-featured Youtube announced today a new commenting platform "powered" by Google+, with video comments soon to be sorted by relevancy versus how recently a comment was posted. According to the announcement, comments from the video's creator, popular personalities, and Google+ connections will appear at the top of  a comment list, along with discussions about the video. YouTube says users will begin seeing Google+ comments in their channel discussion tabs as early as this week, with updates to the comment platform rolling out later this year. Other updates to YouTube comments include the ability [...]


Google Is Fixing Follower Counts Bug On Google+ Dashboards

google-plus-logo-tilt If the dashboard for your Google+ Page is showing that you suddenly have zero followers, two things: 1.) You're not alone. 2.) Google knows about the problem and is working on a fix. I started noticing the bug yesterday: All Google+ Pages that I manage are showing that they have zero followers. It's happening only on the main Dashboard page for all of my Pages (plus.google.com/dashboard), as well as the dashboard pages for each individual Page. The Pages themselves show the correct follower number, so users aren't seeing the bug, only Page owners see it in the dashboard view. Here's [...]


Improved Audience Interaction: Google+ On Air Hangouts Get Slick Q&A Upgrade

Launch Post Image - Final Today Google+ Hangouts On Air relieved some impressive updates that will help fuel interaction and interactivity. The new feature has been dubbed the lengthy "Live Q&A for Hangouts On Air " moniker and allows the presenter to view and answer questions in a format that allows others to follow along. Presenters will now be able to select questions to answer and allow users to follow along on-screen. Questions can be solicited from up to one million concurrent viewers - not just those who are onscreen. Participating users can also vote on questions that they would like to see answered. [...]


Embedded Posts & Automatic Authorship Attribution Arrive On Google+

Copy of si_embedded_post Today at TechCrunch Disrupt, two major enhancements were announced for Google+ that are geared toward bolstering sharing and making authorship attribution easy. The one commonality between the two updates? They work outside of Google+, one change affects webmasters and the other can been seen within the Search Engine Results Pages. Embedded Posts On the heels of Facebook yet again, all Google+ posts can now be embedded onto a third party site. To embed a post, simply find the post on Google+ and select the "Embed post" from the drop=down menu. You can then copy the code and paste onto your w [...]


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