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Meet Project Fi: Google's mobile carrier plans revealed in leaked Android app

Google has already admitted it wants to become a mobile carrier , but specific details about what that service will look like are still sketchy. Until recently, that is. Android Police thinks it has a good handle on the details. The Android-focused site recently came across a system image for the Nexus 6 apparently containing an app for the Google-ified mobile service. To read this article in ...

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mashable.com

Posted on 18 January 2014

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Top Answers About Google+ on Quora

Top Answers About Google+ on Quora

How do people at Google feel about the fact that they have achieved a lifelong dream of many?


I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to start programming early, and other circumstances that made me a skilled enough programmer to work at Google. Also, I wish everyone had the opportunity to work at a company that pays well and has lots of benefits, even if they're not as good at programming as I am. I think it's a shame that we don't live in a world where that's true.


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Posted on 16 December 2015

Is there anything called The Google Condolences Team?


There is no such team. It makes no sense, since Google has no way to know if a user died, and no incentive to act on that information if they knew.

Concerns about Google accounts of deceased people are addressed at https://support.google.com/accou.... This site also includes information about setting up your account to be taken over by a third party once it becomes inactive.

It is up to the next of kin, not Google, to act.


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Posted on 23 October 2015

Since Google is giving up on Google+, why don't they just buy Facebook?


It's a misconception that Google's giving up on Google+; it's a perfectly good social network that is actively being worked on. What Google's given up on is the idea that people want their social networks to be intimately integrated into everything they do. The original G+ strategy was to integrate it into every Google product; that's what's being unwound now. Google found that, unlike Reese's Cups, people didn't like their chocolate mixed with their peanut butter--they want their photos to be separate from their videos to be separate from their social network, etc.

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Posted on 31 July 2015

Since Google is giving up on Google+, why don't they just buy Facebook?


Google would probably love to own Facebook. The other answers make it clear why, and also why they haven't bought it yet so I'll let you read those.

But the question contains some assumptions about Google+. Google is not giving up on Google+, at least as far as I know. They are just not connecting it to YouTube comments anymore (they probably should never have been connected in the first place - the cultures on the two sites are very different, and the decision was unpopular with users of both).

Also, it was never meant to replace Facebook, but to be the centralized social aspect of Google's services. It was less successful than they hoped, but it still has a large user base, and for people who use Google services, it is the central hub. It also helps them target ads more efficiently which is their whole business.

There may not be as many users as Facebook or Twitter, but the people who like Google+ use it in preference to the other social networks and have built an active community there. I know this because I use it every day. I find more interesting stories through the people I follow on Google+ than anywhere else.


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Posted on 29 July 2015

Since Google is giving up on Google+, why don't they just buy Facebook?


Google's market cap is 440B, Facebook's market cap is 265B. Historically, companies with such similar market caps don't engage in acquisitions: a peaceful merger is possible, but a hostile takeover would be expensive and difficult to engineer.

On top of that, both companies have special classes of voting stock so essentially Zuckerberg would have to be willing to sell, which is not very likely any time in the near future.

Furthermore, there would be an anti-competitive dominance of the ads market, which would mean that the FTC would get involved. That would make any merger difficult to contemplate (and it would take a very long time to complete, and involve lots of compromises, including possible spin-offs of businesses that are related), even if both sides were willing.


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Posted on 28 July 2015

Did anyone lose their job as a result of the Google Plus flop?


Google+ is not a flop, it just isn't as user-friendly (idiot proof) as some of their other products. It actually takes some time in a learning curve to use it effectively . There are several million active users who continue to use Profiles, Pages and Communities. It is my considered opinion as an active user that Google has not found a way to commercialize it to their satisfaction and so is de-emphasizing it to put more effort into more profitable ventures. Google doesn't fire people for doing their jobs, they move them to positions where they can be useful.

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Posted on 18 July 2015

What benefit will google have by releasing google photos?


Google has an algorithm that is several layers deep for recognizing a photo.

They deployed this in google photos and you can see the results by pressing the search button.  You get an organized set of image searches based on the algorithm's recognition of your photos.  It's great, but it can always be improved.

By offering to store everyone's images for free, they get billions of images from people which feed their algorithm.  This will allow them to refine its accuracy and ultimately release new search services such as an app that uses your phone's camera to do live searches for information of what it sees.

You could be wearing Google Glass in the future and say: "google, what animal am I looking at?"  and you'd get a great result set of helpful information -like the name of the animal and if it's aggressive etc.

Another big benefit for Google: its a huge leap forward in their stated purpose as a company.
  • To organize the word's information and make it accessible.


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Posted on 3 June 2015

Which languages are used in the backend for Google web applications (Google Docs, Gmail, etc.)?


Nearly all of the Google web apps are written with a Javascript/Java/C++ stack with Javascript in the web browser, Java on the frontend servers, and C++ on the backend services and data repositories.

Python is not recommended for serving production traffic, although it has been used by many engineers for maintenance and analytics tasks.


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Posted on 15 January 2015

What was announced at the Google I/O 2014 keynote?


Android


  • Android One, a global program with OEMs to bring stock Android with high quality hardware to developing countries, launching in India first.
  • Android Paper, a unified design and open framework across web, mobile, TV, wearables, and other devices.
  • Android L Preview, which includes too much for a single bullet point: wearable-based authentication, 3D design with polymer+paper, beautiful 60FPS animations literally everywhere, the official switch from Dalvik to ART (Android RunTime), and over 5000 other APIs are being added to Android.
  • Android Extension Pack, which allows (almost unbelievably good) desktop-quality graphics rendering on new Android devices that ship with Android L, including the new Android TV set top boxes.
  • Project Volta, an improvement in Android battery life offering up to an extra 1.5 hours with typical use, with an accompanying battery management app, several new battery-efficient API updates, and a new Battery Saver mode in Android.
  • The Android Web: All Android devices are now contextually aware, voice enabled, and seamless when continuing tasks across multiple devices.
  • Android Wear, a platform for wearables that supports square and circular screens of any size, which syncs notifications, SMS, and Google Now cards between your wearable devices, your tablet, and your phone. An SDK for writing native apps is also available today.
  • Android Auto, an Android platform for cars that is completely voice enabled, providing navigation, music, phone calls, and other standard functionality in the car that can be customized (theme, your music library, playlists, contacts, etc) on your phone and "cast" to any car you plug your phone into. The Android Auto SDK is available today and over 25 car brands have signed up to ship Android Auto.
  • Android TV, an extension of the core mobile Android SDK to make standard apps also work on televisions. Android devices (including your watch!) can be used as remotes, gamepads, and other input controllers. Console controllers can also be used. Voice search results in information about movies, shows, actors, etc, and allows one-click playing of media from most media services. Netflix-y queries like "oscar-nominated movies in 2005" will also present movies in the same result view.
  • A Certified Android for Work program now separates work content from personal content at the system level on Android devices.

Hardware


  • The LG G Watch, LG's square-faced watch will be available on the Google Play store later today.
  • The Samsung Gear Live, Samsung's square-faced watch will be available on the Google Play store later today.
  • The Moto 360, Motorola's circular-face watch will be available for purchase later this summer.
  • Cardboard, an inexpensive virtual reality headset (that looks very similar to the Oculus Rift (product)) made out of cardboard and other household materials. Download an app on your phone and slip it inside the cardboard as the screen and you're good to go writing VR apps for stupidly cheap. Instructions on how to build your own are at Cardboard.

Chrome


  • Chromecasts can now broadcast their presence to all nearby devices, allowing friends to cast to TVs that they can see, but aren't connect to the same network of. This feature is opt-in. Android devices can now mirror their screen onto any Chromecast.
  • Chromecast Backdrop allows users to customize the idle Chromecast screen with photos from their albums, curated artwork by topic (i.e. art, photography, flowers, etc), widgets like weather and news, and other options. The voice action "What is on my Chromecast" on any Android device will tell you more about the art/etc you're seeing on your TV.
  • Chromebooks now show notifications for incoming phone calls and text messages with your phone. Your Chromebook can now use a known Android device in the proximity (your phone, watch, etc) to automatically log in for you.
  • Android apps on Chrome OS: A demo showed several Android apps running on a Chromebook; Sundar said they were still in the early stages of making this work, but it is definitely in the pipeline.
  • Native Office Editing allows on-device editing of Office files (Word, Excel, etc) with Google Docs, and preserves the original file type.

Google Cloud Platform


  • Cloud Save provides another way to store data. I missed most of the talk on this new service.
  • Cloud Debugger allows setting global breakpoints across all production servers and stepping through source code when any server's execution hits the breakpoint. Conditional breakpoints on local variables are also supported, allowing you to, say, only break on the point when variable name equals "Andrew".
  • Cloud Tracing gives a tracing view of all requests your servers take, and how long they take, which then lets you drill down into requests and see a timeline view of every service call made within that request. Can also generate reports on what effects code changes have on traces.
  • Cloud Monitoring gives disks, VM, and service-level monitoring. Over a dozen open source services (such as Redis) are automatically detected and a dashboard displays your overall system health, including third party services. Alerts for usage thresholds, downtime, and other conditions are also supported.
  • Cloud Dataflow is a fully-managed service to create data pipelines to create, shape, transform, and analyze arbitrarily large datasets in batch or real-time. Optimization, parallelization, and provisioning of machines are done for you automatically.

Google Play


  • Appurify allows developers to simulate specific devices for cross-platform testing, as well as simulating specific networks and connectivity properties.
  • Google Fit is a centralized location for cross-platform devices and apps to combine their sensor data and analysis into a single app. Fitness information can be shared (opt-in) between apps, allowing them to interact with and incorporate data they wouldn't otherwise have.
  • Google Play Games is getting a lot of new features, including player profiles (which includes your games, achievements, leaderboards, progress through games, etc). Quests allow developers to create time-sensitive activities in-game for players and provide rewards for completion from a web interface, without having to update the game app itself.
  • Carrier Billing is now available on tablets (including Wifi only), using the already-set-up carrier billing process on your phone.



And of course, if you want to watch everyone up on stage but don't have an hour to kill on a video, here's most of the announcements distilled into a 9 minute video courtesy of The Verge (website):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...


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Posted on 26 June 2014

How does Moshe Vardi share so much interesting stuff on G+?


It's easy to share. It's harder to read everything you share. If you'd asked "How does he have time to carefully read all the articles he shares?", that would be an interesting question. But it's not clear he does.

If you really want to be impressed, go check out his publications. This is small beans. That's where the really impressive work is. And it's more impressive than most of us have adjectives for.

In response to David Metcalfe: I've known Moshe for twenty years. I am pretty certain he does not have a service posting for him, nor is he paying someone to do it. He's always been an information spreader. He used to do it by email. If social networks didn't exist, they'd have to be invented for him.


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Posted on 1 April 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


here’s a helpful guide on how and why to use extensions, along with 15 suggestions for the teacher Chrome user 15+ Great Chrome Extensions for Teachers

  • Autocopy - Automatically copies text or links when they are selected. Imagine how many times a day you click Control or Command + C. Now, you don’t have to!
  • Awesome Screen Shot - Capture a whole page or just a portion. It also ncludes annotating tools.
  • Clea.nr - Removes YouTube add-ons and related videos from the screen, showing only the video and the search bar. Great for removing questionable ads and related videos that pop up.
  • Docs Quickly - Allows you to quickly create a new Google Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet or Drawing.
  • Evernote Web Clipper - Lets you send any link or site to Evernote.
  • Handy Google Shortcuts - Creates an icon that allows the user to quickly access all things Google.
  • One Tab - Whenever you have too many tabs, One Tab converts them all into a list saving “up to 95% of memory.”
  • Panic Button - Closes all open tabs in a Chrome window. Click the extension again to reopen them all.
  • Printliminator - (not an extension) Use this bookmarklet to remove unnecessary or unwanted aspects of a web page before printing.
  • Save as PDF - Lets you download web pages into PDF format.
  • Send to Google Docs - You can take any webpage and turn it into PDF that you can send straight to Google Docs.
  • Turn Off the Lights - You can dim the background when videos are playing. Useful to eliminate inappropriate advertising in YouTube videos. Shows up in address bar.



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Posted on 16 February 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


Google/Gmail Flight Information

I recently found out this amazing feature while booking an Air ticket. Once you receive your E-ticket, on top of the mail, GMAIL shows the respective flight information with on time schedule. It also has separate tabs in case you have booked more than 1 flight.

 Additional benefit, with a single click you can add the schedule to you Google calender.

"It does make your life easier, now I can have a quick look without having to go through the entire mail or searching for the schedule each and every time."




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Posted on 27 January 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


Google's location history https://maps.google.com/locationhistory

It auto-tracks your location (if you have Google Location Services enabled on your android device) and it can show you up to a 30-day stretch of exactly where you've been (or where you're phone has been to be more precise :) )

A lot of people find this creepy, but I love it

Here's for example my location history about 4-5 months ago


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Posted on 24 January 2014

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


1. A recently published heatmap by Google, to see the most photographed places in the world: Sightsmap

2. Google Ngram Viewer
Google's Ngram Viewer lets you search keywords in millions of books over the span of half a millennium, a useful tool for finding trends over time. For power users, the Ngram Viewer also has advanced options, such as searching for particular keywords as specific parts of speech or combining keywords. Just in case you ever wanted to see how big cocaine was in Victorian times, now you can.


3. Google Public Data Explorer
Search through databases from around the world, including the World Bank, OECD, Eurostat and the U.S. Census Bureau. After you find what you want, filter through categories to make graphs with the axes you want. Google's Public Data Explorer then displays the data in a line graph, bar graph, scatterplot or on a map.


4. Full Value of Mobile
A useful calculator for businesses, Google's Full Value of Mobile will calculate just how much having a mobile site is worth. The tool will help you analyze how customers interact with the various aspects of your business, from mobile sites to calls to cross-device ability.


5. Get Your Business Online
Get Your Business Online is Google's initiative to get more local businesses on the web, in an effort to boost the local economy as well as help small businesses grow. The initiative also encourages people to get other businesses online, with an end goal of reaching every local business in America. There are also listings for events and lessons. The free service also includes hosting for one year.


6. The legacy of Schemer
Schemer is like a combination to-do list and social event planning app. Connect via your Google+ account, enter your preferences, and Schemer will offer some things to do around your area. A great tool for travelers who want to make the most out of a visit, as well as for locals who want to find something to do on an otherwise boring day. You can also collaborate with the friends in your Google+ Circles and see who wants to do the same things as you.

7. Google Fonts
Google Fonts offers open source web fonts for all to use privately or commercially. As of now, there are 629 font families available. Filter fonts by thickness, slant, width and script.


8. Google Developers
Google Developers houses a plethora of resources that developers can use, tools such as internationalizing different websites and live presentationsof tutorials. Developers can also join groups in a local area for meetups and collaboration.



9. Dart
Dart is a programming language developed by Google in hopes of eventually replacing JavaScript as the language of modern web apps. Dart was released in 2011 and is still in its development stages. With a goal to make coding and collaboration simpler, Dart was designed to be simple enough that even beginning developers could learn from it.


~
P/s:
Info courtesy of Mashable.
Screenshot courtesy of those services.


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Posted on 20 January 2014

Will Google figure out social?

Anonymous

Google thinks everyone should be smart, and should want to interact the way Googlers do. G+ is designed by engineers for engineers. It's infinitely more elegant than FB but it's also complex, hugely versatile, constantly evolving and has a steep learning curve (since updating the documentation is not a priority). 

Facebook thinks that most people are stupid, and want to interact in the easiest possible way with other stupid people, about stupid unimportant things.

Unfortunately, Facebook is right.


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Posted on 24 October 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


Google Flight Search

Flights - Google Search

Google Flights allows you to use google to search for flights from all the major airlines without having to go to their crappy websites. Basically it is better than every airline website ever made and every travel website ever made.  All I want is to find a flight that is cheap and on the day I want. I don't like being on a website that's shouting deals and packages and throwing credit card offers at me. Google flight search.


Protip: you can even view airfare changes over time by clicking the bar graph icon in the upper right hand corner.


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Posted on 4 May 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


WDYL
What do you love?
It`s a tool where you type something you want to know about and Google give a very huge panorama about it, using a lot of Google tools


Think with Google
Think Insights with Google
Their own explanation about the product:
"Today's pace of change is mind-blowing. Digital innovation is propelling the marketing industry forward faster than ever before. At Google, we use research, analysis and insights to stay ahead and created Think Insights to share all of this and more with you.
Here are the studies we're conducting, the trends we’re tracking, and the ideas we’re exploring — across industries, platforms and audiences — all in one place. Think Insights is designed to bring you everything from high-level visions to deck-ready data points. Data, insights, tools and inspiration to make the web work for you."


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Posted on 4 April 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


It's not really product or service, but it's really cool: Google offers few courses for anyone who wants to learn.

One of the courses is Power Searching with Google, which gives you lot of great techniques and ideas to improve your search capabilities. This course is followed by the "Advanced Power Searching with Google" course, which even gives you challenges that test you on specific research questions.

Link: Inside Search

Also, Google has a class which teaches you Python(!), which is totally awesome.

Google's Python Class

And they also have a short course on C++:

Educational Materials

They even developed a system that helps us to build sites for that:

CourseBuilderChecklist - course-builder - Checklist of all steps to create a course using Course Builder. - Course Builder - Google Project Hosting


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Posted on 14 March 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?


google-refine - Google Refine, a power tool for working with messy data (formerly Freebase Gridworks) - Google Project Hosting

OpenRefine (formerly Google Refine) is a powerful tool for working with messy data, cleaning it up, transforming it from one format into another, extending it with web services, and linking it to databases like Freebase.

OpenRefine

It's awesome! Perfect for cleansing data before importing to Excel.


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Posted on 25 February 2013

What are some awesome Google products/services very few people know about?

Anonymous

Google Transliterate:

Say you speak another language (which does not use the standard Roman alphabet), but you can't write it very well. Or you have a recording of another language and want to translate that.

In comes Transliterate - you just type in the phonetic sounds of the language, and it converts it into the desired language. They've really done a good job to hide the link recently, but I managed to dig it up: Google Input Tools.


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Posted on 13 February 2013

What is a Google Fellow?


There's a ladder of titles for Google Engineers. If I recall correctly, the hierarchy is:

  • Software Engineer II
  • Software Engineer III
  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Staff Engineer
  • Senior Staff Engineer
  • Principal Engineer
  • Distinguished Engineer
  • Google Fellow

The Google Fellows mentioned in the question are at the top of the ladder due to their consistently outstanding accomplishments.


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Posted on 27 July 2012

Is Twitter aware that Google+ is really an attempt to kill them, and not Facebook?


Google+ is not what the media thinks it is.  Google+ is the integration of all of the Google services so that they can interact with each other.  Google+ is a new infrastructure that allows, among other things, a consistent identity and a set of sharing concepts and a coherent user experience.  That is the point of Google+.

One of the results of that was a new page that demonstrated all of the new concepts, and people are mistaking that for the entirety of Google+.


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Posted on 19 June 2012

Why does Diaspora look exactly like Google+?


I am telling you the truth since it is more than a year that I am on Diaspora.

They look the same, for just a simple fact. Google Plus copied Diaspora from the first to the last point. Diaspora was the first social network to start thinking in "Circles".

They were the first to propose a new and interesting network in order to share what you want with the people you love.
 
You could probably say that the design is coincidence, but I don't believe it. Someone here has cheated on another project. Diaspora was the first to be live on the internet. In this case the math is simple and the answer is simpler.

It is true to say that many ideas that Diaspora proposed were adopted in Google Plus. However there is a single factor, which makes Google Plus a better choice. Google has more than 35k employees that are better than four young programmers.

 They just have the same basis, but they look different if you see them with all their features.

In conclusion if you want a simple answer to your question, I guess you should ask to Google Developers, who should know what innovation is, but in this case as in many other cases, they just copied another interesting product.


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Posted on 6 June 2012

Why aren't Facebook or Google+ using conversation threading on their comment platforms?


Long ago I worked on the Long Now Foundation's project Long Bets. One of the people involved was Stewart Brand, who among other things is an online community pioneer. As we were building the Long Bets discussion system, I was naturally going to include threading. Because features are good.

He argued vigorously against that. It was his view that threading mainly improved the ability to bicker endlessly. Linear discussion made that failure mode more difficult, and pushed people in the direction of saying whole things.

In the years since, I've come to agree with him. Threading generally makes for hard-to-follow discussions and point-by-point arguments. The reader experience is much better in non-threaded discussions, and you get wider participation without it.


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Posted on 26 April 2012

How has Facebook changed the way it ships code after Google+?


Our release process is always a work in progress, so it'd be a lie to claim it hasn't changed at all since Google+ launched. It changed in the month before G+ arrived, and it changed in the month after G+ arrived. But it'd be true to say that none of the changes to our release process have had anything whatsoever to do with Google+; the changes are just us constantly looking at what works and what doesn't and trying to get better. We've always prided ourselves on our ability to get stuff out the door quickly and we always want to push further in that direction.

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Posted on 20 September 2011

Will Google+ Circles suffer the same fate as Twitter Lists?


I've read the other responses here and I think they are missing out on what is making Circles really useful and different than Twitter lists. Here's a list of my own:

1. The entire service is built around them. With Twitter lists they were bolted on after the fact and never supported properly. Here the whole thing is built around adding people to circles.

2. If you want to have a private video hangout you MUST use them in Google+. There is no feature in Twitter that forces you to use lists the way features force you to use them in Google+.

3. When Google finally gives us filtering I'll bet $1,000 that they will let you filter by circle. This is something Twitter never had the guts to do.

4. Google Circles lets you control OUTBOUND while Twitter only lets you control INBOUND. That's a HUGE difference and one that is making circles a lot more fun.

Anyway, the main reason is that Google+ is built completely around circles and the UI affords using them to categorize people. Twitter's lists never got that far because management of Twitter never invested further in them, always saying no one uses them.

Oh, one other thing. Twitter limits lists to 500 members, and you can have only 20 lists on a single Twitter account. Google doesn't do such stupid limits.


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Posted on 7 August 2011

Will Google+ Circles suffer the same fate as Twitter Lists?


So I think the key comparison here isn't Google Circles just to Twitter lists, but also to Email discussion lists and Facebook Groups.  

In most all cases, I think G+ Circles/Twitter Lists/Email Lists/FB Groups are only useful if the core communications/information still starts coming through the main channel (G+ feed, Twitter timeline, Email Inbox river, FB feed/notifications) and isn't expected to be a separate place to go for content. People don't go to many separate places to check. While these can be useful filters on a stream, I think the key to usefulness is a combination of being a good way to distribute content, and a good way to receive content from a group of folks within your normal stream of content you consume.

Email Lists work. In the workplace, because there are clear structures of teams and roles, many pepole actively create distribution lists to send out emails to a specific group of folks and expect everyone on that list to get the message and be able to respond, and in many cases, to see all of the communications to/from that list archived in one place for consumption.   I think most people generally consume the messages within their regular Inbox streams, rather than just filtering or viewing messages sent to a specific distribution list.  Why this ultimately works in the workplace is because the roles/rules are fairly well defined so the lists are comprehensive, and updated either by someone else or the list owner when roles/rules change. And because the information flow is important, most people do correctly get on the right lists.

For Google Circles, I'm worried that this won't massively take off for many of the reasons Kevin Cheng listed here: http://kevnull.com/2011/07/can-w...   This requires an individual to set up the lists (Google+ is doing a good job kickstarting this) but it's much more nuanced - there's no specific information flow or reasons to be on one vs another unless the owner is already specifically doing this. And when nuances or roles change, it's a burden to go through and manually update this unless you have really strong information flow reasons to do so.  So I worry these will likely decay.

For Twitter Lists, I think the secret there will lie in the underlying asymmetric model of the network.  While it's not critical for everyone to have, create, or own lists, it still is really useful to have good lists that help organize people, especially at the top. For example, a list of San Francisco Giants players I can follow, or who are the best commentators on Debt Ceiling. Imagine tying this together with more topicality, and lists you can follow/unfollow and get content in your main stream, and it becomes really powerful.

What makes Facebook Groups powerful is that you don't need many people to organize the groups to still have them be organized and have good communication flow.  This is much closer to email discussion lists and I think that FB Groups will become even more and more core to Facebook's product.

Sorry for the rambling.  To specifically answer the question, I think Google Circles will need to evolve to stay useful and relevant - individuals aren't likely to keep them organized in a meaningful way.  But I think Twitter Lists will evolve separately and the best value from them is still to come!


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Posted on 7 August 2011

Will Google+ Circles suffer the same fate as Twitter Lists?


Twitter lists are used exclusively for consumption of updates, where you can see tweets from a subset of people - potentially a well-curated list. In contrast, Google+ Circles are used for both consumption and distribution, which makes them much more powerful, and useful. Instead of choosing the all private or all public approach as Twitter does, you can send specific posts to a specific subset of connections, all filtered through Circles.

Given the inherent value of sharing through Circles, and how it matches real human social behavior, I believe Circles has a higher chance of success. Google has also made the process of editing people's Circles, or the Circles themselves, easy and entertaining, less like a chore.


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Posted on 23 July 2011

Is there a way to count how many "likes", "tweets", "+1's", etc., a given URL has?


Any like button needs to be powered by a public API to quickly display the total likes count. As a result, you can use any of these same public API calls by themselves to get the count for some other purpose. Here are a few examples:

Facebook:

http://graph.facebook.com/http:/...

{
   "id": "http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/20...",
   "shares": 805,
   "comments": 43
}

Twitter:
http://urls.api.twitter.com/1/ur...

{"count":1868,"url":"http://news.ycombinator.com/"}

Linked In:

http://www.linkedin.com/cws/shar...

IN.Tags.Share.handleCount({"count":66,"url":"http://news.ycombinator.com"});


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Posted on 21 July 2011

I already use Facebook and Twitter. Why do I need Google+?


Google+ appears to have drawn lessons from the experience in both Facebook and Twitter. So, excluding the fact your existing contacts are already in Facebook and Twitter, there is a nice blending of the features from both social networks in Google+.

The table below highlights where Google+ is like either Facebook or Twitter. Take a look:


While the similarity count is higher for Facebook, I think the one-way following is the most defining part of Google+. The default position for a lot of initial users is probably public, I'd wager. But watch those Circles - they could offer the privacy and limited distribution people like with Facebook.

To sum it up, Google+ gives you an experience that draws from the best features of both Facebook and Twitter. Now it's a question of whether the people you connect with or follow show up there and engage.


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Posted on 19 July 2011

How did Google keep the development of Google+ under wraps with the number of Google engineers getting hired by Facebook, such as Paul Adams?


I (and all the other ex Googlers) signed a non-disclosure agreement with Google. Because almost all people in our industry are trustworthy and honest, they respect that agreement. I didn't breathe a word about Google+ to anyone at Facebook. In fact, Facebook were very pro-active in ensuring that I don't mention anything to anyone internally.

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Posted on 12 July 2011

Why is it not possible to edit the circles a post is shared with after the post has been created?


I'm speaking without any knowledge of the G+ backend or implementation, but it's probably a mix of intentional product decisions coupled with technical choices made when building large, high-volume distributed systems.

Product reasons:

This is partially why Facebook doesn't allow people to edit anything after it's been posted: Too many possibilities for people to have their name/likes/comments attached to content that can change after the fact. For example:

Andrew posts a status update "damn it's hot outside!"
Chris posts a comment "yea man"
Andrew changes his original status to say "Hitler had some pretty good ideas"

If this kind of behavior were allowed then it could have a chilling effect on user interaction with content on the service.

Changing the scope of who can view a message could be even worse:

Tracy posts a status update "gosh our teacher is such a jerk!", limited to just her close friends.
Albert, Belinda, and Marc all reply in agreement.
Tracy changes the post privacy to "public" (intentionally or accidentally) where it's then seen by the teacher and they all get detention on Friday after school.

Technical Reasons:

From a purely technical perspective it's preferable to isolate interactions with content to just ADD and DELETE, instead of also supporting the more complex EDIT operation.

It's less expensive to issue a DELETE then ADD when a typo/mistake is made. The alternative is isolating the content to change, acquiring a lock, performing an atomic write, invalidating any caches, and then repopulating the cache. This is even harder when you're working at the scale of messages passing through Facebook/Google's backend systems every second of every day.


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Posted on 6 July 2011

Does Yishan Wong have a financially vested interest in seeing that Facebook succeeds and Google+ fails?


Yes, I worked at Facebook for 4.5 years and I own a non-trivial amount of equity in Facebook.

That said, I am in a position to diversify away from Facebook if G+ appears to be the superior product, so I have a lot of financial flexibility here.  It just doesn't seem to be necessary yet.

My recent post cited in the question details is not an attempt to bias the market/users away from G+; if anything, it is likely to help G+ refine their product, if they are serious in their intention of actually competing directly as a replacement for Facebook.  If you want to hurt a competitor's product, you don't shout out their flaws publicly.


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Posted on 4 July 2011

Why did Google choose red for the color of the "main action button" in the latest redesign across all Google products?


Well, did they? How do you define “main action button”? I see four different button classes in Google's recently redesigned services:

1. The gray default button:


It is also used for navigation here and there:


2. The blue button, which is used where a gray button wouldn’t be prominent enough, e.g. for submitting forms, and especially for search purposes, when the user retrieves information:




(By the way, this is similar to Facebook’s approach:


While I totally like Facebook’s buttons, I think they have one little flaw: The gray button, with its gradient, looks more like “Click me!” than the blue button. I click “Cancel” quite often when I actually mean “OK.”)

3. The red button is primarily for creating something new, e.g. composing a mail or creating an event in Calendar:



In Google Books, it is used for purchasing eBooks and also – for the sake of consistency with the “Get it now” button, I guess – for normal book previews:


4. Last but not least, the green button indicates some sort of social communication:


On Google+ profiles, it shows that the person is in your circles (otherwise, a red “Add to circles” button is present):


This appears to be an attempt to make the interfaces more intuitively usable by letting users know (well, feel) what a button does before they even read the label. The new Google design carefully leverages color as a powerful tool for guiding the user’s eyes. Another example: Consider the optimized link colors on the search result pages:


It is easy now to tell apart the search tools (gray: link; red: selected item) and links to the search results (blue or purple), while the last design used blue links also for the search tools:


The search tools were more distracting when you were just scanning the results, and a vertical seperator was neccessary – that was one more graphical element for our visual system to parse.

User interface design is much about making people think less about the tool so they can focus on the stuff they are actually interested in.


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Posted on 4 July 2011

What is "Google Experts" found in Google+ source code?


Answers from the community, in 5 minutes? at line 561:

e.a(c);break;case 18:hy(b,e,c);break;case 22:e=e||new M;c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" answered your "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+"."))));e.a(c);break;case 19:e=e||new M;c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" thinks you can answer a "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+"."))));e.a(c);break;case 27:e=e||new M;f="Welcome to "+(Zx(m,m,c)+("! "+(Zx(m,m,c)+(" has just been turned on for "+(R(b.Ab.DOMAIN)+(". You can get answers from the "+(R(b.Ab.DOMAIN)+" community in about 5 minutes!")))))));


Questions found from line 562-566:

e.a(f," ",!c.bq?b.Ab.APPLICATION_BASE_URL?'<a href="'+S(An(b.Ab.APPLICATION_BASE_URL))+'/questions" target="_blank">':'<a href="questions" class="a-b-h-Jb">':"","Try it now!",!c.bq?"</a>":"");break;case 28:e=e||new M;c="We haven't received an answer to your "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+".")));e.a(c,"You might try rephrasing or tagging your question to make it easier for someone to answer.");break;case 30:e=e||new M;c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" commented on your "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+"."))));e.a(c);break;case 31:e=e||new M;c=b.item.ka.eg==1?Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" commented on your answer to his "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+".")))):b.item.ka.eg==2?Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" commented on your answer to her "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+".")))):Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" commented on your answer to the "+(by(b,m,c)+(" about "+(ay(b,m,c)+"."))));e.a(c);break;case 25:e=e||new M;c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" commented on a "+(Xx(b,m,c)+("photo"+(Wx(b,m,c)+" you're tagged in."))));e.a(c);break;case 26:e=e||new M;c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+(" commented on a "+(Xx(b,m,c)+("photo"+(Wx(b,m,c)+" you tagged."))));e.a(c);break;case 29:e=e||new M;c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+" invited you to a new conversation on Google+ Mobile.";e.a(c);break;case 33:e=e||new M,c=Ux({ka:b.item.ka,ra:b.ra,ga:b.ga},m,c)+" invites you to a hangout.",e.a(c)}}else if(e=d||new M,b.fb.vd[0].Nb[0].qg==18)hy(b,e,c);else for(var b={vg:b.fb.vd,ga:b.ga,kc:b.fb.kc,ne:b.ne,update:b.fb.update},e=e||new M,f=b.vg,g=f.length,i=0;i<g;i++){var l=f[i],o=new M;cy({item:l.Nb[0],ne:b.ne,ga:b.ga},o,c);var p=new M;l.Nb[1]&&l.Nb[1].ka&&cy({item:l.Nb[1],ne:b.ne,ga:b.ga},p,c);var k=new M;l.Nb[2]&&l.Nb[2].ka&&cy({item:l.Nb[2],ne:b.ne,ga:b.ga},k,c);l={Oc:l.type,W:o.toString(),ba:p.toString(),oa:k.toString(),Eb:l.Nb.length,mo:l.Nb[0].qg,ga:b.ga,kc:b.kc,Qd:i==0,sz:i==g-1,update:b.update};p=c;o=e||new M;switch(l.Oc){case 1:k=new M;Xx(l,k,p);var z=new M;Wx(l,z,p);k={W:l.W,ba:l.ba,oa:l.oa,Eb:l.Eb,kc:l.kc,Qd:l.Qd,ab:k.toString(),Za:z.toString()};p=o||new M;if(k.Qd)switch(k.kc){case 3:k=dq(new aq("{NUM_ACTORS,plural,offset:3 =0{unused plural form}=1{"+(k.W+(" shared a question with you}=2{"+(k.W+(" and "+(k.ba+(" shared a question with you}=3{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", and "+(k.oa+(" shared a question with you}=4{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+(", and 1 other shared a question with you}other{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+", and # others shared a question with you}}")))))))))))))))))))))))),


Some +1 code for questions at line 584:

(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+", and # others mentioned you}}")))))))))))))))))))))))),{NUM_ACTORS:k.Eb}),p.a(k);break;case 4:k=new M;Xx(l,k,p);z=new M;Wx(l,z,p);k={W:l.W,ba:l.ba,oa:l.oa,Eb:l.Eb,kc:l.kc,Qd:l.Qd,ab:k.toString(),Za:z.toString()};p=o||new M;if(k.Qd)switch(k.kc){case 3:k=dq(new aq("{NUM_ACTORS,plural,offset:3 =0{unused plural form}=1{"+(k.W+(" +1'd your question}=2{"+(k.W+(" and "+(k.ba+(" +1'd your question}=3{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", and "+(k.oa+(" +1'd your question}=4{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+


Question mentions at line 580:

{NUM_ACTORS:k.Eb}),p.a(k)):Tx(k,p,z);break;case 5:k=new M;Xx(l,k,p);z=new M;Wx(l,z,p);k={W:l.W,ba:l.ba,oa:l.oa,Eb:l.Eb,kc:l.kc,Qd:l.Qd,ab:k.toString(),Za:z.toString()};p=o||new M;if(k.Qd)switch(k.kc){case 3:k=dq(new aq("{NUM_ACTORS,plural,offset:3 =0{unused plural form}=1{"+(k.W+(" mentioned you in a question}=2{"+(k.W+(" and "+(k.ba+(" mentioned you in a question}=3{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", and "+(k.oa+(" mentioned you in a question}=4{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+(", and 1 other mentioned you in a question}other{"+ (k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+", and # others mentioned you in a question}}")))))))))))))))))))))))),

Comments on a question at line 572:

(", "+(k.oa+", and # others commented on your answer}}")))))))))))))))))))))))),{NUM_ACTORS:k.Eb}):dq(new aq("{NUM_ACTORS,plural,offset:3 =0{unused plural form}=1{"+(k.W+(" added a comment on your question}=2{"+(k.W+(" and "+(k.ba+(" added a comment on your question}=3{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", and "+(k.oa+(" added a comment on your question}=4{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+(", and 1 other added a comment on your question}other{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+", and # others added a comment on your question}}")))))))))))))))))))))))),


Answered questions at line 576:

{NUM_ACTORS:k.Eb}),p.a(k)):Tx(k,p,z);break;case 13:k=new M;Xx(l,k,p);z=new M;Wx(l,z,p);k={W:l.W,ba:l.ba,oa:l.oa,Eb:l.Eb,kc:l.kc,Qd:l.Qd,ab:k.toString(),Za:z.toString()};z=p;p=o||new M;if(k.Qd)switch(k.kc){case 3:k=dq(new aq("{NUM_ACTORS,plural,offset:3 =0{unused plural form}=1{"+(k.W+(" answered your question}=2{"+(k.W+(" and "+(k.ba+(" answered your question}=3{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", and "+(k.oa+(" answered your question}=4{"+(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+(", and 1 other answered your question}other{"+
(k.W+(", "+(k.ba+(", "+(k.oa+", and # others answered your question}}")))))))))))))))))))))))),


The use of Google Experts  at line 544:

function Yx(b,a){var c=a||new M;c.a(b.Ab.MESSAGE_TITLE?R(b.Ab.MESSAGE_TITLE):b.Wn);return a?"":c.toString()}function Zx(b,a){var c=a||new M;c.a("Google Experts");return a?"":c.toString()}function ay(b,a){var c=a||new M;c.a(b.ga?R(b.Ab.QUESTION_TAG):"<b>"+R(b.Ab.QUESTION_TAG)+"</b>");return a?"":c.toString()}


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Posted on 1 July 2011

Will Google+ overtake Facebook as the dominant social network?


I think some of the posts in this thread focus too much on technical differences between the two platforms and thus miss what will ultimately be Google+'s biggest draw: the opportunity to start over online.

Social networking has grown up alongside Facebook. In its early years, it was a quirky online activity mainly enjoyed by horny college students, and so profiles mainly featured pictures of people holding red party cups. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, Facebook opened itself to the world, and, somewhat more unexpectedly, the world joined. Friend requests started coming in from parents, bosses and colleagues. This caused problems for people who’d created their profiles in the party-cup days. Then the requests started coming in from people you hardly knew. How many of your pictures do you really want them to see?

At this point, most of us have Facebook friends dating back to three or four distinct eras in the evolution of social networking. That’s made it very hard to know how to use your Facebook account. I, for one, have mostly stopped using mine. I don’t want to annoy my acquaintances with the content I want to send my closer friends, nor do I want to annoy my closer friends with the content suitable for my acquaintances.

Facebook has tools for managing all this, but they’re hard and awkward to use. Will people notice that they suddenly can’t see your photographs anymore? If you defriend them, will they take it personally? Do I have time to defriend 400 people? What I need, and what I think a lot of other people need, is an opportunity to start over. But you can’t start over on Facebook. That’s awkward. And no other social network has sufficient density to make joining worthwhile.

That’s where I could imagine Google+ coming in. It’s not that any of its features are so revolutionary. It’s not that it’s better at doing social networking than Facebook. It’s that it’s an opportunity to start over, to build your social network with years of Facebook experience in mind, rather than having to face the accretion of mistakes and miscalculations you made over almost a decade of trial-and-error with a new technology.

It’s not Facebook’s fault that “what it means” to have a Facebook account has changed four or five times over the last few years, even as most of us have only had one profile over that period. But it is an opportunity for Google.


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Posted on 1 July 2011

What are the differences between Facebook's customizable friends lists and Google+ Circles?


The first main difference is in the emphasis within the product and the ease of use. Facebook's Friend Lists functionality is currently de-emphasized in the Facebook product (it's hard to find and manage, even if you know it exists), whereas Google+'s Circles are at the core of the product experience (they are the first thing you see and are very easy and fun to create).

The other difference is the ability to explicitly indicate to friends how broadly is the particular piece of information or content being shared. If one shares something with the "Family" Friend List or "Best Friends" Friend List on Facebook, the users in the friend list have no way of knowing that this content was shared only with their small select group rather than with all of the users' friends. In Google+, users can easily see who the content was shared with (it's either "Public" or there's a "Limited" button one can click right next to the content item). Knowing who a particular piece of content or information is shared with and feeling part of the select small group it was shared with, may facilitate more interaction and in-depth responses.

Finally, Google+ offers an "Incoming" stream, where one can see the content of folks who have added you to their Circles, but whom you haven't added back. There's no explicit analogue of that in Facebook.


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Posted on 29 June 2011

What are extended circles?


"Extended Circles" is similar to friends-of-friends, though it's slightly different since connections in Google+ can be asymmetric.

From the help center:

Content shared with your extended circles could appear in the Incoming stream of people who are one degree removed from you with certain conditions--namely that we’ll only include people whose association with people you know is already visible to you.

Source: http://www.google.com/support/+/...


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Posted on 29 June 2011

Will Google+ overtake Facebook as the dominant social network?


Google+ should overtake Facebook because Chrome + Android provide user experience opportunities unavailable to Facebook.

Myspace was once the top dog. Terry Peng nicely summarizes the scope of this discussion. Circles, clearer privacy statements, brand equity all matter but are not enough to draft enough people to move away from Facebook. Sure Google can try to conscript people away, but that will probably fail. Google+ should learn from the Myspace case study. Myspace lost to Facebook for a variety of reasons, but the core element to Facebook's victory was that Facebook was so much more pleasant to use. The design and UX of Facebook was more persuasive to the American public. Same with OSX compared to Windows Vista/7.

Look and feel win over mass audiences. Design and user experience will determine if Google+ overtakes Facebook. As Peter O'Kelly points out, hiring Apple's Andy Hertzfeld to design Google+ is a big deal. Wave was not designed for a college student to take out of the box and run with it. As Steven Levy discusses, the features of Google+ are being slowly rolled out to not intimidate new users.

Chrome + Android matter. No offense to Rockmelt -- a product I use and enjoy -- but I would place my bets on Chrome to be the dominant browser. With Chrome for laptops/desktops/netbooks and Android for mobile, Google can integrate Google+ into the design of the browser instead of providing social plugins for websites.

Question: Name me a website that persuasively integrates Facebook?

Here are the two most popular examples of Facebook's social plugins:

Wired
Endgadget

Neither one of these is particularly elegant or useful. The social plugin for Wired is little more than an actual Facebook and Endgadget's is Facebook's version of a tailored most e-mailed box.

Look at how Google+ is already built into Google's search results. This type of design will change my behavior. For example, Chrome ruined Firefox for me because I don't want separate boxes for  URLs and search. Simplifying the browser will organically promote Google+. Having a mobile foothold only strengthens Google's position.

Unlike building a social network from scratch, Google has Gmail and Gchat. Most of my friends and contacts are already on the Google network. Transition is easier than many people think.

That said, does Facebook now try to utilize Microsoft and Bing as counter-weights?


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Posted on 29 June 2011

Does Google+ make you automatically friend (or discover) everyone in your address book?


You will not automatically have contacts placed into Circles, and whether a person is in your address book is private to you.

Your relevant contacts will show up in the "Find and Invite" tab to help you discover people you might want to add to circles, but they are unconnected to your account otherwise.

People will know that you have them in some Circle, but not which specific Circle(s) that they are in. http://www.google.com/support/+/...


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Posted on 28 June 2011

Was Google+ a fake rumor, a misleading evolutionary product update, or really a new social network from Google?


Update on June 2011: The result of months of hard work  is out: Google+. Welcome to a new world.

Google Me will not be necessarly a new social network but a way to  leverage the real social network that Google users already have and  integrate in what Google already offer.

 GoogleMe will:
  • not use the word Friend for the people in the social graph. The  user would be able to define how specific partitions of his/her contacts  are called. These partitions will be generically called groups or circles. There will be some predefined groups (ex:  family, colleagues, etc). They are similar to the Facebook lists but  different in how easy, clear and immediate interacting with them is.
  • have deep care about privacy to gain user trust. The user will not  get surprises interacting with his contacts.
  • enable the user to have more than one identity. Sharing and  conversations scope will be limited to the specific group of people  linked to the specific identity. Interaction with a group will be not be  available to the other groups. Content may be "public" in a group of  people but not for others.
  • make sure that the user clearly understands the audience of the  content that he/she is sharing and the persistence of the message.
  • let the user will be able to do some actions anonymously. Ex  rating products.
  • facilitate the interaction with contacts with strong ties vs weak  ties vs temporary ties. Ex on Google chat the user can select to be  visible only to my strong ties and invisible for all the rest.
  • be integrated with all the Google products (gmail, Google docs,  Picasa, Google checkout, Google products, Google voice and SEARCH etc). The user will be able to  share a Google spreadsheet with the group "Work colleagues" for example.  Shared content will be indexed and accessible during a Google search  (if relevant). It will be able to deliver the message in the way  preffered by the receiver of the message (ex: on the steam, by email, or  by text message through Google voice.
  • be able to learn about people relationships and influence on each  other regarding specific subjects and prioritize stream/feed according  to that. Ex: My colleague Patty travel a lot and is the best person to  get information about place to visit or where to book the cheapest  flights. When I am searching for a place to visit, she may be  automatically inquired and the system will make sure that I receive  suggestions by Patty on that subject. Google Me will provided tools for  business to act on those influences (like an Adwords on steroids).
Note: All the above comes from  articles available online, conversion with people, observations on what  Google is already doing and my inferences on what would be strategic and  logical for Google to be build based on those.


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Posted on 7 January 2011

Should Google really focus on social and why? Should they use a different brand to do that?


Google needs to stop focusing on social, and in particular stop trying to destroy Facebook.

I've recently been talking to some Google and ex-Google engineers, and have crystallized my thoughts on this topic.  Here is a long and rambling answer on why.

Although Google could benefit from being more social-literate in its products, that is a long way from their current goals of contorting themselves with the goal of gaining advantage over Facebook.  I've come to believe that this striving is due more to memetic desire (wanting what others want just because others want it) rather than true competitive threat.  Google disdained Facebook and social networking when it was small, but now that it's big, it's suddenly important.  All that is is the nightclub effect http://cdixon.org/2010/06/08/ins....

Indeed, Google itself was once the victor in its own history against Microsoft, whom they witnessed spending billions crashing itself upon the rocks of the various 1.0 internet startups, exemplified by Google's search empire, only to suffer defeat after humiliating defeat, only now barely staying in the game by buying up Yahoo's defunct search business but still a relative bit player when it comes to consumer internet products.

Microsoft's mistake, which Google itself surely recognized, is that they continued to try and stubbornly shoehorn everything into a Windows- and Microsoft-centric model while attempting to tackle a market far outside their core competence just because someone else there was doing well.  Yet, Google is now trying to do exactly the same thing.  Small startups naturally know that you don't go up against an industry leader; instead, you try and do something new.  The same strategy is just as valid for large companies, except for some reason they don't think that way - another rival large company in a different line of work (here, it's social vs search) is viewed as a competitor that must be displaced or supplanted, rather than accommodated with a complementary market model, i.e. by building products that benefit from the success of the "rival," rather than attempting to attack it.  Startups do this all time, large companies almost never.

I attribute this to the fact that young companies are driven by entrepreneurial types, who are prone to carving their own path rather than attempting to follow in the market footsteps of others.  Even companies which are helmed by their founders become subject to this, due to the growing weight of executives and middle managers who join from other large companies.  The chorus of voices within the company begins to shift from one of entrepreneur self-guidedness to one of conservative big-business industry-following.  And what does an industry follow?  Why, the industry leader, of course.  They are blind to other possibilities.

In fact, it seems that it requires no less than an incredibly dictatorial founder-leader to keep a large company on the path of "doing new things your own way" - i.e. Steve Jobs.  Even Bill Gates, considered a very strong CEO, was not enough to keep Microsoft from eventually attempting to beat Google by following it.  It's not about beating the other guy, it's about being successful on your own terms.

Google should be playing to its strengths, not attempting to compete in the area where it is arguably the weakest.  Some examples, one good and one bad:

  • Until recently, its disruptive move into the smartphone OS market was and continues be shaping up to be a massive success.  Sure, there is the collision with iPhone, but every single Android phone is still far superior to anything we could buy 5 years ago.  Vic Gundotra did a great job here.  Android was a great example of Google using its strengths of technology, business development, and scale to move an entire industry.
  • Amazon's EC2, S3, and related services are an amazing success, powering almost the entirety of a new generation of web-based startups.  There is no reason why Google should not have owned this market.  Even today, if they poured the resources and attention that they're putting into social into this market, they could probably take it back from Amazon.  Instead, Google App Engine continues to languish.  If they won this market (or were even a major player in it), they would be powering the entire next generation of internet startups.  Talk about winning at a meta-game that Facebook can't possibly touch.

The very problem with Microsoft competing against Google is that they didn't recognize their true strength, which is that they had a stable of world-class engineers who could go build anything.  So why force them to build search or internet portals?  Microsoft was smart enough to let at least one promising executive create the XBox project, which today is one of the few landscape-defining new Microsoft product lines to have taken shape since Microsoft achieved its OS/Office market position, having astoundingly gained advantage over even the PS3 and Wii.

Google is in the same position.  In 2008 they killed off a great flowering of Google products to hunker down for the recession.  Fine, that was necessary, but why aren't they now unleashing their world-class engineers to develop and discover new products and business lines, rather than forcing them to march to the beat of trying to take down Facebook?  Google has massive data centers all over the world, unmatched internal infrastructure, and advanced toolsets that are generations ahead of what is available commercially.  Is using that to create a Facebook-killer really the best use of all those people and all that technology?

Lastly, a question for Google itself: exactly what ultimate success state are you after?  What if you win - what if you gain complete and total victory, the way Microsoft did versus Netscape?  Do you really want to stand over Facebook's corpse, having destroyed a product and community of over 500 million users worldwide?  Are you going to tell yourself that you've done the world a favor because now they're all using some sort of ur-Orkut?  Or will that have been a whole lot of wasted time and energy that you could have spent building something truly new and useful for the rest of the world?

Google's current mission to overthrow or block Facebook is borne out of ego and fear, and transparently does nothing to advance its mission of organizing the world's information, nor its meta-Silicon-Valley mission of changing the world by advancing the state of technology.


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Posted on 21 August 2010

Why is it taking Google so long to develop/launch Google Me?


They only started a few months ago. 6 months is probably the minimum amount of time it would take any team to develop something with features competitive with Facebook. Also, there are a lot of people working on it, who need to be organized, managed, and coordinated.

Why did it take them so long to get started, though? My guess is that this is how long it took for them to realize that Buzz wasn't going to work, plus some time given to how long it took them to decide that this (making something like Facebook) was the right next step.


See Questions On Quora

Posted on 3 July 2010

reddit.com: search results

worst of google plus posts

Basically, this subreddit is for finding cringy Google plus posts and users that do stupid dumb sexual shit.

Posted on 29 September 2015

TIL Google Plus is amazing at creating Porn montages. [NSFW]

So I was without a computer for a while, which naturally led to the kind of content I usually use my laptop to consume ending up on the phone's storage... Among comic books, TV shows, and movies I ended up having two porn torrents on my N5.

Later on I'm browsing through my auto backup on Google Plus and I notice an unfamiliar face in the "Auto Awesome" section. You know, the one where Google does stuff like collages, animated gifs from progress pictures, etc.

Well, it turned out Google cut the two scenes into a very nice preview, just over a minute long! Not only that, it added some very fitting music and showed what I think were all positions in both scenes. It really looked better than many porn trailers.

Without further ado, the masterpiece!

submitted by /u/teeso to /r/Android
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Posted on 1 June 2014

On Google Plus

In the light of recent events involving Vic Gundotra and his leaving of Google, I've read so many hateful things here on Reddit and on the internet in general, so I just wanted to share my own experiences with the social network that are very contrary to popular beliefs.

-Google Plus the ghost-town

That's really the primary argument I always hear from most people. "But none of my friends or family are on Google Plus" "No one I know uses Google Plus" "Why should I use Google Plus when everyone I know is only on Facebook?"

To those people I want to say: Did it ever occur to your that you can maybe use a platform with interesting posts and people, even if none of your friends are on it and everyone is a stranger? Well look around, you're doing it right now! I didn't exist in your world before this post! Tell me, exactly how many of your friends and family use Reddit? Probably not that much right? Yet you spend hours here and discover new and funny things every day, right? And there are also many Subreddits targeted directly at your particular interests, full of relevant content and people that you interact with daily, even in this very moment. Now think about this for a second: Google Plus has more than twice as many active users as Reddit.

-The Userbase

From my PoV "But all my friends are on Facebook" is an argument for Google Plus, rather than against it.

Tell me, when exactly was the last time you saw a rational, respectful discussion without insults on Facebook? It's probably been a while, right? Maybe never? I've had some of the most engaging, rational, respectful and grammatically correct conversions and discussions with some of the brightest and nicest people I've ever met in this "ghost town". Certainly not something I can claim to have experienced on Facebook.

If you log in to Google Plus, like 3 pages and then leave after 10 minutes, you're really not in a position to claim that this Platform is a ghost Town.

Your argument should end right where you say "I don't know much about the topic" and this doesn't only apply in this discussion.

My 2 cents, I'd like to hear your thoughts Reddit!

submitted by /u/HeavyHDx to /r/google
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Posted on 25 April 2014

Let's Play - Google Plus - #1 : Dump your links here.

Since we've all been strong armed into making G+ accounts, why don't we make it a little easier to hit the ground running and start dumping our G+ channel links in this thread? I figure this way we can see who has their profile page set-up instead of all guessing and trying to find each other.

Commence networking!

Edit:

For everyone having trouble getting their "correct" profile to be set to default, imunfair figured out a work around. Once you do this, g+ becomes a lot easier to work with.

submitted by /u/BirdCatcherGames to /r/letsplay
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Posted on 7 November 2013

Something's up: 11 Google apps are awaiting updates on the Play Store

Current count: now 17 app updates (Oct 30, 4:25PM EDT)

It happened in the last hour. All of the apps below are currently showing Oct 29, 2013 as the most recent update; but there's no changelog and no roll out yet. If you include Google+ (which had its own press event), that's 12 apps 16 apps that will be updated at some point this week.

Could tomorrow be N5/Kit Kat day? Or is it just bug fixes as part of 'update Wednesday'?

Apps:

Which camp are you in?

Believers | Non-Believers | Close to mad

EDIT: Blogger too. So 13.

EDIT2: Pure speculation here; multiple updates usually happen close to the end of a quarter, not in the middle of it (Q3 ended Sept and we're only a month into Q4 - why would 13 product teams release updates on the same night? and Wallet of all products? and finally, considering Sundar Pichai didn't appear at the Google+ event yesterday, why did Vic Gundotra tag him earlier this week after all? I think Vic's big day was yesterday. Sundar's will be tomorrow.)

EDIT3: Kinda huge one... Google Play Services now showing Oct 28 (but hasn't rolled out to anyone either). So 14 apps total.

EDIT4: Less huge, Analytics and Fiber app also surfacing with Oct 28.

EDIT5: Someone reminded me that Snapseed was also updated Oct 29.

submitted by /u/JLishere to /r/Android
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Posted on 29 October 2013

Dear Reddit, I just made my first Reddit Android app, inspired by the Google Plus cards UI and Holo design, it is called Reddit Illustrated.

Hi friends, I am an indie developer working alone on Android apps. I wanted a Reddit app that puts the full preview of photos in the main timeline itself so that I don't have to open each picture and then come back to the main screen. Since most Reddit apps I tried followed the "inbox style" list model, I set out to create that app on my own. I wanted the app to be based on the latest version of Android design guidelines, with cards UI, navigation drawer and all. And 4 weeks later here I am with Reddit Illustrated.

Google Play Store link

The app puts the big colorful images right in the middle of your timeline and you can keep on scrolling without reaching the end. It works best on photo-centric subreddits like pics, funny, wallpaper etc (screenshot) but even on subredits like worldnews or Android where the posts are more likely to be stories from sites like cnn.com or androidpolice.com, the app attempts to extract the most relevant image from the page and displays it (screenshot). There is also an internal web browser based on Readability (which you can turn off) that displays links in a mobile formatted UI.

You can use the app without a reddit.com account but if you login, you can vote, comment and access your personalised front page and subscribed subreddits as well. You can also add subreddits locally into the Favorites section if you just need it in your phone/tablet alone instead of subscribing.

  • Clean user interface based on the cards UI of Google Plus app
  • Scales beautifully on phones as well as 7" tablets like Nexus 7
  • Vote or comment on stories as well as individual comments
  • Access to your personalised front page and subscribed subreddits
  • Sorting option for stories and comments
  • Threaded comments with color coding to indicate their hierarchy
  • Maintain a list of your favorite subreddits
  • Simply long press on any image to download
  • Set the downloaded image as wallpaper from notification bar (screenshot)
  • Share your favorite stories to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and more
  • Downloads thumbnails (instead of full size images) for preview from imgur.com, flickr.com, minus.com and wikimedia.org
  • Generates thumbnails for Youtube videos and quickmeme.com links
  • Hide NSFW photos completely or turn off their previews alone
  • Integrated internal web browser that displays links in a mobile-friendly format
  • Automatic image cache deletion in every 2 days (can be changed in settings)

The app is free and will work on all devices with Android 2.2 and above (although on an Android 4.0+ device it will feel much better due to hardware acceleration and large memory heap available). A $1.99 in-app purchase will remove the ads and your support will help me continue the development.

I tested the app on my Galaxy Note and a friend's S2 and it worked great. I hope it works well on your devices as well. Please give it a try and do let me know your thoughts. Thank you.

Google Play Store link

submitted by /u/naveenjn to /r/Android
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Posted on 22 May 2013

Google is lying. Reader still has MILLIONS of active users. Stats inside.

If you click the detail view of a Reader feed, it will show you the current number of subscribers. You can also see subscriber counts in the Recommended list, or on a feed search.

The number of subscribers is staggering even for sites I'd never heard of, larger than some countries:

Engadget: 6,604,967

CNET News: 1,663,104

The Big Picture: 761,743

Ars Technica: 28,350

The Onion: 499,915

Order of the Stick: 34,497

TheKitchn.com: 686,512

xkcd: 324,329

Cyanide & Happiness: 108,458

Lifehacker: 55,627

Cool Tools: 201,264

Penny Arcade: 183,586

I thought maybe it was a legacy thing, like these sites racked up tens or hundreds of thousands of subscribers years ago when Reader was popular but the service now has far fewer active users. And yet:

The Verge (launched November 2011): 102,756

xkcd's What If? (launched July 2012): 71,811

Also, Buzzfeed recently published statistics showing that Google Reader delivers orders of magnitude more traffic than Google Plus -- between 10 and 25 million hits per month. That's a significant fraction of Facebook's total traffic the same time period (10-35%).

Judging from these stats, Google Reader is not stagnant or neglected. Reader has millions of active users. And Google is fucking all of them over, hard.

EDIT: According to blog Google Operating System:

  • most popular feed (CNN) has more than 24 million subscribers

  • Google's official feed has more than tripled its subscription base since 2007

  • 87% of GOS readers come from Google Reader

  • According to Google Trends, search interest in Google Reader climbed steadily throughout 2008, 2009, 2010 and plateaued in 2011, seeing only a slight decline (plateauing at 2009 levels) only after they fucked up its social sharing systems.

submitted by /u/Jordan117 to /r/google
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Posted on 14 March 2013

We are the Google Site Reliability team. We make Google’s websites work. Ask us Anything!

Hello, reddit!

We are the Google Site Reliability (SRE) team. We’re responsible for the 24x7 operation of Google.com, as well as the technical infrastructure behind many other Google products such as GMail, Maps, G+ and other stuff you know and love. We’ve been traditionally invisible and behind-the-scenes but we thought we’d drop on here and answer any questions about what we do, what stuff we come up against, and what it’s like to be an SRE.

Other interesting things to give you an idea of what we do:

Blog post about the Leap Second written by Chris Pascoe from SRE give an ides of the kind of hairy problems we come up against.

Steven Levy wrote a Wired Article about inside our datacenters, and managed to make us sound like some sort of amazing justice team.

Kripa (who’s one of our participants today!) also writes about DiRT for ACM Queue.

We’ll be here from 12pm to 2pm PST to answer your questions, when we'll have info on our participants.

Proof (official Google accounts) :

https://plus.google.com/+GoogleDevelopers/posts/AjoRBrKYvsR https://twitter.com/googledevs/status/294234581303967745

EDIT 11:50PST: We're just getting set up here to answer your questions. We are:

Kripa Krishnan (/u/kripakrishnan), SRE Technical Program Manager and DiRT mastermind from our Mountain View HQ. Kripa works on infrastructure efforts in Google Apps.

Cody Smith (/u/clusteroops), long-time senior SRE from Mountain View. Cody works on Search and Infrastructure.

Dave O’Connor (/u/sre_pointyhair), Site Reliability Manager from our Dublin, Ireland office. Dave manages the Storage SRE team in Dublin that runs Bigtable, Colossus, Spanner, and other storage tech our products are built on.

John Collins (/u/jrc-sre), SRE Ombudsman, advocate and general force for good, from Mountain View.

EDIT 13:56PST: OK folks, we're all done. Thanks for the questions, hope our answers were satisfactory. May the queries flow and the pagers be silent.

*EDIT Jan 30: Corrected the spelling of @stevenlevy's name. Whoops-a-daisy. *

submitted by /u/sre_pointyhair to /r/IAmA
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Posted on 24 January 2013

How I imagine Google Now in the future (10 mockups)

According to The Verge, Google has a pipeline of cards ("possibly hundreds") planned for Google Now.

I made 10 mockups of cards I wouldn't mind using.

View on imgur: http://imgur.com/a/Ye1fk#0

Any ideas of cards you would especially like to see in the future?

submitted by /u/JLishere to /r/Android
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Posted on 10 December 2012

I Am Jamie Hyneman from MythBusters, AMA. Proof: https://twitter.com/JamieNoTweet/status/253561532317851649

I'm Jamie, host of Mythbusters- the guy in the beret. I've not done AMA before, am looking forward to some thoughtful questions. I'm on the northern California coast, in a comfortable chair and looking out to sea. We are on a couple of week break from shooting, and so I'm relaxed and in a good mood.

Website: http://www.tested.com

Tour Website: http://www.mythbusterstour.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamieandAdam

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/116985435294376669702

Thanks for all the discussion- wish I had time to answer everything. Signing off now. -Jamie

submitted by /u/IAmJamieHyneman to /r/IAmA
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Posted on 6 October 2012

Reddit Sync has been removed from Google Play

Just woke up to an email from Google Play informing me that the free version of Reddit Sync has been banned without warning for the following reasons:


REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy.


I've checked the content policy and am at a complete loss as to why it has been pulled. If it's just for having the word Reddit in the title I'd be surprised. All images and assets in the app follow their respective licenses so I doubt it's that either.

The app was even previously reviewed by some guys at Google who didn't seem to think it was deceptive...

I have no idea what to do, I have been working on this app for just under a year and it has been a complete labour of love. Would appreciate any suggestions, thanks.

Laurence

EDIT: I've cross posted this to Google Plus, hopefully this should gain a little awareness: https://plus.google.com/106154618737936766302/posts/7nttQsUUwuY

EDIT 2: I've also emailed Reddit directly however no DMCA notice was included in Googles email

EDIT 3: Reto Meier has got in touch through Google Plus and is looking into it

EDIT 4: Ionatana Davis from Google has also got in touch via Google Plus and is looking into it

EDIT 5: The guys from Google seem to have backed off, now waiting for the appeal team to get in touch. 26 hours and counting...

submitted by /u/ljdawson to /r/Android
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Posted on 27 August 2012

Google+ news (google plus news)

Your leading source of google+ news, updates, releases, tips and tricks, how-to's and help for the google plus community

Posted on 3 June 2012

reddit is fun banned for "sexually explicit material"

Wow. I wasn't expecting this. I got 2 emails from the Google Play Store telling me my apps, reddit is fun lite and pro, have been banned for sexually explicit material.

I'm not sure how to go about appealing this. After all it's true that reddit content includes NSFW content. Not sure exactly why my app was singled out and the other reddit apps weren't, though.

Any thoughts? Should I even bother appealing? As always I appreciate your input, /r/android. Thanks.

EDIT: I posted on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/108576990588738594191/posts/8LfJmKX48R2 maybe it would help to gain awareness through that avenue? Thanks for all your support, guys.

EDIT2: Dave Nicponski, a Google employee, commented on that Google Plus thread, saying the right people at Google are going to contact me about what actually triggered the issue:

+Andrew Shu So i've spoken with the appropriate people here @ google. There seems to be some (very large) confusion about what actually happened. Expect to hear back shortly.

To the masses decrying "censorship! Oh noes!" That's not what happened here at all. Hopefully Andrew will be able to confirm this shortly. It really is a very tiny thing that seems to have caused this. Just be patient.

Still awaiting their response...

EDIT3: I thought it was funny that the situation is somehow getting coverage in China: http://it.sohu.com/20120320/n338298872.shtml

EDIT4: The Google Play appeals team have responded to my appeal. They asked me for more clarification on a few points all surrounding the inclusion of NSFW reddits in the default list. So that, as many of you already guessed, is what concerns them about the app. I replied already and will update when I hear back a second time.

EDIT5: Thank you everyone for your support! Google is giving me a chance to reinstate the app, provided I fix the Content Policy issues. The primary issue is the linking to sexually explicit reddits and potentially other policy-violating reddits like any condoning hate speech, gratuitous violence, etc.

submitted by /u/talklittle to /r/Android
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Posted on 19 March 2012

How I got on Google Plus (No witchcraft, just a little help from some code)

A redditor shared a link (not an invite as those are closed) and using that link to http://plus.google.com I refreshed every 5 seconds for 20 hours. To make that easy, I used a handy Chrome Extension to stay up all night and do all the refreshing for me. Download Extension - Went to bed & woke up w/ access to Google Plus. EDIT: I was logged in to my gmail account at the time. EDIT 2: Wow, front page! Glad to have been helpful. Thanks folks!

submitted by /u/Depression-Unlocked to /r/googleplus
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Posted on 7 July 2011

[IAmA] We are a few engineers and Product Managers on the Google Images team. Shoot us a question!

UPDATE (1:17pm): This IAMA has officially ended, so you'll notice our responses start to trickle off. Please visit our forum to continue this discussion!

Hello redditors,

We're really pumped to be here to talk to you all about Google Images. As you may know, we've recently announced some pretty cool features to Google Images like Search By Image, Sort by subject, Images with Instant, and we’re working on a new interface optimized for tablets like the Xoom and iPad. Got questions or suggestions about these things and more? Great! Ask us anything.

Joining you live from the Googleplex in Mountain View are...

Nathan Beach (highcadence), Product Manager

Peter Linsley (BeardP), Product Manager

Myron Flickner, Product Manager

Chuck Rosenberg (pillansii), Software Engineer

Andrew Munn (import_this), Associate Product Manager

Ken Dauber (lazystroll), Software Engineer

Jeff Laflam (imagesguy), Consumer Experience Specialist

Check out our picture!

We’ll be here until 1:15PM PST to answer your questions.

Please join our Community Manager Kelly Fee (kellyfee) in our forum to talk to other Google Images users!

submitted by /u/kellyfee to /r/IAmA
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Posted on 7 July 2011

Google Plus invite thread

Figured I'd start this one up again since I got my invite through this thread a week ago (and wasn't able to activate it until an hour ago).

Post your email, get an invite, remove your email from the post (so other know not to invite you) and invite others. Repeat.

Faster we invite people, better shot it has of competing with Facebook.

EDIT: Seems like they closed out the invites again. I had the same thing when I got invited last week and had to check back every so often and wait for them to open up. Once they do open up, all you gotta do is go to plus.google.com and it should allow you to sign in. Nothing more I can do from this point on. If you got an invite, try to invite more people when it does open up. If you're still waiting, keep checking back. I'll try to open another thread like this when I notice that it's open again.

EDIT 2: Seems it might be back up now?!?! Either way, if you ever get an invite but get stopped for a "keep me posted" button, simply keep checking back later, it might take a week or more though (mine took a week).

EDIT 3: I'm off to bed for tonight. Seems there are a few people that are inviting others, consistently faster than I do it too. If they miss you by any chance, message me and I'll mass invite people tomorrow when I get a chance.

EDIT 4: Back from work. Invited everyone who didn't have an invite since I went to sleep yesterday. I'm done for now guys, my fingers hurt from inviting right now. Might be back at this a bit tonight again.

submitted by /u/ItzRabbs to /r/google
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Posted on 6 July 2011

Hey ladies- do any of you want a google plus invite?

Pm me your email address.

EDIT: Apparently it can take upto 3 hours for you to get the invite. I didn't get mine in my inbox but after I was invited, I just went to plus.google.com and got to login with my gmail account. You can try that. If you get the we're temporarily at our limit message, you can try refreshing the page until it works. I'm adding you all to a circle (and its the only way I know) so if you know a more efficient method of inviting people, please let me know!

EDIT2: It might be easier if you logged into your gmail (for those of you who sent me your gmail addresses) and then went to plus.google.com.

EDIT3: Its 5.25PM CST and I sent out ~60 invites. Let me know if you don't get them. I'm going out now ...I'll get back to these again later tonight:)

EDIT4: I'm so sorry for the lack of updates. So I sent out a bunch but I'm not sure if they're going through - a bunch of people messaged me saying they didn't get it..but I saw a bunch who got on. I'm not doing any more invites but thanks so much to the redditor(s?) who sent me reddit gold - it was so ridiculously sweet and thank you soo much..you really didn't have to! i got my invite from a redditor so just wanted to give some back to my favorite subreddit! <3

submitted by /u/bluegreensunrise to /r/TwoXChromosomes
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Posted on 3 July 2011