How Do You Define Google Plus?

Defining Google+: Is it Facebook’s competitor? Or is it similar to Twitter? Oh, wait! Does it work like a blog?

Well, it is quite hard to define or probably explain the newly launched social networking site, Google+. When Google+ was announced, everyone thought that it was Facebook’s competitor. Later on, by users’ experience, they claimed that it is more like Twitter where you can share links/images; make official announcements and so on. However, few users say that it works similar to blogging platforms. People like Kevin Rose, found Google+ so interactive that he eventually ditched his blog and redirected his domain to his Google+ profile. Well, now that’s like being more fascinated towards Google+.

Let us compare Google+ with Facebook, Twitter and Blogging platform to see what they have in common.

Google+ vs. Facebook

Right from the profile page to updating posts and to sharing stuff with friends, Google Plus and Facebook have the most common features.

  • G+ and Facebook have almost the same Profile Page. The user’s profile picture placed on the upper left-hand corner with friends list below that, is same as Facebook. In addition to that, we have information like Occupation, Education and a brief self-introduction box on the right-had side of the page.
  • Facebookers can “like” updates while Google+ users can “+1″. It is pretty much the same feature. Both these buttons are allowed be integrated on third-party sites.
  • The status update box on Google+ is a copy of Facebook’s status update box. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here’s the comparison:
    Facebook Google Status Box Comparison
  • Updating posts in Google+ is similar to updating posts in Facebook. You can share personal thoughts, videos, pictures and even links while your friends can “+1″ (“like” on Facebook), comment or share it with others.
  • Google+ allows you to categorize your friends with the help of Google+ Circles. This allows you to control what you share with whom. Similarly, Facebook allows you to categorize your friends in Groups, but unlike Circles, Facebook users do not commonly use Facebook Groups.

Google+ vs. Twitter

I have seen people breaking news on Twitter and such announcements/news published on Twitter, spreads like wildfire. Google+ functions in a similar way. We have seen Google employees – Vic Gundotra and Frances Haugen, announcing new features on the site. Not to forget, the CEO himself (Larry Page) posted  Google’s Q2 Earnings report on his stream last night.

Most Indian tweeters, use SMS gateway to update news as quickly as possible. Similarly, Google+ announced SMS support that lets Indian users update their Google+ stream by just sending an SMS. Here’s how to update Google Plus through SMS.

Google+ vs. Blog

Like any blogging platform, Google+ also allows you to share posts with photos, videos and permits users to comment on it. Although blogs allow you to share your posts on Twitter and Facebook, Google+ limits its user to share posts within Google+ only. However, with the use of third-party extensions, you can share Google+ updates on Twitter and Facebook simultaneously.

What is New in Google+?

Well, just one thing and that’s “Sparks”. Google+ Sparks allows you to identify or discover topics that might interest you. For instance, let us say that you are interested in Photography. With the help of Sparks, you can keep yourself updated with latest news and topics related to Photography. The results shown are filtered according to the keyword/s you specify. Read more on “Sparks” here.

Considering the above points, it is quite hard to define Google+. What I think of Google+ is that it is a mixture of everything. Google+ == Facebook + Twitter + Blog + Some of Google’s unsuccessful services.

Here’s how I think Google+ was born – Google has taken the best of Google Wave, removed some unworthy features from Google Buzz, added few bits and pieces from Orkut, integrated Facebook’s UI, allowed Twitter like functioning and embellished it with photo sharing and video chatting to make it look more like a blog.

Google has really brainstormed on Google+ and have taken into consideration what people really want and how they would like to communicate with their friends and family  members  – You share what you want, how large or small it is and firmly decide whom to share it with.

Well, If you are already on Google+, please let us know what you think of Google+ or how would you define it?

Google+ to Have 20 Million Users by the End of This Week

UPDATE: Google CEO, Larry Page,  confirmed  on his Google+ profile that Google+ has reached the 10 million user mark.  

Google+ is still only in field trial with limited access as we scale the system. Users have to be invited, sign up with a profile in order to use it. However, the growth on Google+ has been great–and I’m excited to release some new metrics for you today
Over 10M people have joined Google+. Great achievement for the team

As expected, Google+ has hit the 10 million mark. Google CEO, Larry Page confirmed it during the Google’s Q2 Earnings Call while he pats on the back of the Google+ team for doing a wonderful job. Apart from that, he shared a few more interesting stats during the event.

  • Google+ users are sharing and receiving over one billion items everyday
  • The +1 Button is being used more than 2.3 billion times a day
  • Android now has over 250,000 apps and over 550,000 Android Devices activated a day
  • Google Chrome, on the other hand, has grown significantly with over 160 million Chrome users

According to the Q2 Earning report released by Google, Google’s sites generated $6.23 billion (a 20 percent increase) while paid clicks on Google sites and AdSense partner sites has increased by 18% YoY, and the average cost-per-click increased about 12%.

Read the complete report on Google  Q2 2011 Results.

Do you feel proud of yourself, since you have a Google+ account while your friends do not have one? Well, you don’t have to be anymore, because according to a recent analysis done by Paul Allen, entrepreneur and co-founder of Ancestry, indicates that Google+ is nearing the 10 million user mark and believes it will touch the 20 million mark by the end of this week.

Although Google+ is currently under a limited field test, it has seen tremendous growth since its announcement. 24 hours after the launch of Google+, the invite feature had to be closed down due to high demand of Google+ Invites. On July 10, Google+ had over 7.3 million users registered with a growth rate of 365 percent in just six days.

Google probably never expected the amount of popularity that it has gained until now. A few days back, Google+ users were bombarded with multiple email notifications spamming their inbox due to a coding error, after which the service that kept track of Google+ notification system ran out of disk space. Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice-President of Social for Google, however, apologized for the inconvenience caused.


Live vs Plus

According to Paul Allen’s analysis of the Google Plus user-base, the social networking site will have over 10 million users by Tuesday (July 12) and expects to cross over to 20 million users by this weekend. He said that his analysis was based on a survey of the surnames appearing on the site. With the help of the US Census Bureau data of surnames, he made a rough estimation about the number of users in Google+.

I start with US Census Bureau data about surname popularity in the U.S., and compare it to the number of Google+ users with each surname. I split the U.S. users from the non-U.S. users. By using a sample of 100-200 surnames, I am able to accurately estimate the total percentage of the U.S. population that has signed up for Google+. Then I use that number and a calculated ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users to generate my worldwide estimates. My ratio is 1 US user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users.

We saw the usage of Google’s +1 button surpassing Twitter’s tweet button. This indicates how Google+ is gaining popularity. Now, both Facebook and Twitter, have something to worry about.

A  report  by Inside Facebook indicates that Facebook has dropped its growth significantly in the last two months. Facebook had at least 20 million users signing up per month, but the number went down to 13.9 million in the month of April and further reduced to 11.8 million in May this year. This is due to the number of Facebook scams, a potential threat to the users, that are spreading across the site in bulk. The other reason could be due to the company’s ongoing security and privacy issues.

Facebook's Growth Rate Dropping

Facebook, currently has over 750 million active users. Google+ is way behind Facebook, but looking at the way Google+ is gaining popularity, I am sure it will be a close competitor to Facebook. We don’t know how accurate Allen’s reports are, but in the coming weeks, we can expect a tough competition between the two social networking sites. Google+ can expect a higher growth rate when it comes out of beta stage and  launches  its API service.


GoogleMinus Tells You Who Removed You From Google Plus Circles

We are all human beings and definitely love to have friends. However, unlike friends we meet in real life, Social networks like , and allow us to get in touch with people we have never met (or may never meet) in our lives.

That said, initially people do accept your friendship but as time goes some of them may unfollow you or unfriend you. There have been ways to find out who unfollows you on Twitter or who unfriends you on Facebook, but what about Google+? Well, thanks to a new extension called GoogleMinus, you will be able to find out when someone removes you from a Google Plus circle through a notification. As Read Write Web points out, GoogleMinus is an unfriend tracker for Google+.

Google Plus Unfriend Tracker

The extension works in , and Safari. However, you will have to install another extension called Kynetx before you can start using GoogleMinus because it is built on that platform. Kynetx is a browser platform which allows developers to build browser apps that run on multiple browsers without having to write separate extensions for each of them.

One annoying thing I found with Kynetx is that you will have to first create an account there before you can install any extension. You will have to do it only once and can then use the extension on any browser. However, you will have to install the Kynetx extension on all the browsers you choose to use this extension on.

If you decide to run through all these hoops, you will get a notification as shown in the screenshot above whenever someone decides to aha remove or block you from their circles. Find it useful? Then go ahead and install the GoogleMinus extension.

Google Plus Technical Lead Answers Questions from Users

Google is betting big and risking a lot on its latest social network, Google Plus. According to unconfirmed and fairly imaginative estimations by Paul Allen, Plus might have already crossed ten million users, but Google has been carefully controlling the number of people allowed in. Google Plus is currently in field-testing phase (beta phase). However, Google is actually taking the field-testing bit seriously. Learning from the mistakes committed with Wave and Buzz, Google has been iterating rapidly. Within just three weeks of launch, Google has tweaked several minor aspects of the product, such as gender visibility, with bigger changes in the pipe. We have seen everyone from Engineering SVP Vic Gundotra to general Google Plus developers collecting feedback by engaging with the users. In another such attempt, Joseph Smarr, the technical lead on Google Plus, created a “Ask me anything” thread on AnyAsq. He has already answered hundreds of queries, and is not yet done. Some of the more interesting revelations are:


  • Google+ uses Java servlets for its server code and JavaScript for the browser-side of the UI, largely built with the (open-source) Closure framework, including Closure’s JavaScript compiler and template system.
    Our backends are built mostly on top of BigTable and Colossus/GFS, and we use a lot of other common Google technologies such as MapReduce (again, like many other Google apps do).
  • Smarter ranking/collapsing/filtering in the stream and notifications, integration with more Google products (e.g. an easy way to share articles from Google Reader to G+), and an API are things that Smarr wants to see soon in Google Plus.
  • While discussing the significance of the ability to add non-Google+ users to your circles he said, Personally, I think it’s a crucial feature to empower targeted sharing, esp. in the early days of the product when many of the people you want to share with aren’t yet using Google+ or checking it regularly. After all, a lot of “targeted sharing” happens over email today.
  • Smarr believes that while he is personally happy with the core circles/sharing/etc model, there’s just a lot to do in terms of UI tweaks, making the stream and notifications smarter, improving new-user sign up, and so on.
  • No Google+ integration with Google Calendar or Docs is currently planned. The Plus team isn’t reusing any code from Wave.
  • Multiple Google Account integration with a single Plus profile is something Smarr has been lobbying for internally.
  • Searching and Tagging are also being actively discussed internally.
  • It should be possible in the future to create circles from your Gmail contact groups.
  • Currently Google isn’t sure about what to do with Buzz, but for now, it will continue to exist as an independent product.
  • By Google’s standards, the Google Plus team is surprisingly small.
  • While answering several questions on the development process and engineering behind Google Plus, Smarr shared a few interesting tidbits.
    • “We built and re-built many aspects of the UI many times based on user studies and dogfood feedback. And of course we’re “standing on the shoulders of giants” in many ways, learning both from our previous social products and the industry at large. For instance, Andy Hertzfeld was working on a prototype “next-generation contact manager” before Google+ got started, and many of the ideas in that prototype formed the core of the “circle editor” UI we shipped, but we made numerous changes and revisions to the UI along the way, and we’re clearly going to need to keep doing that going forward (for all aspects of the product).”
    • “We put extra emphasis on engineering speed/agility–we try to release code updates on a daily basis while still keeping quality/stability/latency as high as you’d expect from google.”
    • “Trading off consistency vs. availability is always challenging, and even more so in social applications where your actions affect other users, often in other data centers.”
    • “Also, pretty much everything about hangouts is technically challenging. I don’t know much about the details; I just know those guys are wicked smart. :)”

Google’s +1 Used More than Twitter’s Tweet Button

Google launched it’s “+1″ sharing button last month as a part of Google’s search engine and displayed the “+1″ button next to search results. It allows you “+1″ search results and advertisements that you like which will appear in  your  Google Profile. It was soon allowed to integrate in website and blogs just like Twitter’s “tweet” and Facebook’s “Like” button. And apparently, Google+ buttons were used more in number than Twitter buttons. Twitter, now has something to worry about.

In a recent study carried out by a SEO platform provider – BrightEdge, revealed that 4.5 percent of the sites it analyzed had adopted the Google +1 button, while the “tweet” button had a usage of 3.4 percent combining Twitter Share (2.1 percent) and Twitter Instant Follow (1.3 percent). However, Facebook’s “Like” button, remained on the top with 10.8 percent dominating the social share buttons.

Google's +1 Used More than Twitter's Tweet Button

Google’s +1 saw a growth rate of 1 percent, Twitter with 0.2 percent and Facebook with 0.3 percent when compared with the last analysis conducted in June, 2011.

Breaking down Facebook’s social share widgets, the “Like” button has been adopted by 10.8 percent while the “Like Box”, Facebook Connect and Facebook Recommendations had no changes with 6.1 percent, 1.9 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.

The analysis was carried out for 10,000 largest websites showing a 33 percent spike in placement of the +1 button in the last few weeks. The report also revealed some more interesting analysis. Only 49 percent of the top 10,000 websites used either Facebook or Twitter integration.

The analysis also included how the social share buttons were rated on the basis of integrating them on the front page of the top 10,000 sites. 47.4 percent included link to Facebook profile while Twitter stood second with 41.8 percent. YouTube had a 16.77 percent decline with 16.75 percent and LinkedIn with 3.7 percent.

Google's +1 Used More than Twitter's Tweet Button

Few days back, after the launch of Google Plus, Google removed real time search results from its search engine as the contract between Twitter and Google, with respect to real time updates from Twitter, had expired. The deal allowed Google to integrate tweets into search results on the go. Google stated that is working on incorporating Google+ into this functionality and have temporarily disabled the feature.

We can expect more integration of +1s after Google+ API is launched and when Google+ comes out of beta. Watch out Twitter!

A funny video created by CreativeShed shows Hitler’s worry about the rise of Google+ and how Google+ is taking the world. Enjoy ;)

Update Google Plus through SMS

Google Plus has been making waves ever since it was announced. Within just two weeks, it has managed to amass millions of users, and millions more are desperate to get in. The biggest strength of Google Plus is its engagement factor. Google has finally made a social product that’s genuinely fun and addictive to use. As a result, we are seeing people like Kelvin Rose ditch their blogs in favor of Google+.


If you are one of those folks who are already hooked, and you are from India, then there is some good news for you. Now you can update your Google Plus status, on the go, via SMS. All you need to do is send an SMS to 9222222222 with your message text.

You can even specify post visibility while updating via SMS. Here are the modifiers you can use:

  • @[circle name] – To share your update with selected circles.
  • @extended – To share your post with your extended circles.
  • @public – To make your update visible to everyone (including search engines).
  • @[email address] – To share your update with a particular person.

If you don’t specify anything, your post will be shared with everyone in your circles.

It’s slightly odd that this feature is currently available only in India. Normally, the focus during early field testing is strictly on US residents. However, Indians might also represent the ideal demographic for this feature. India is a country where mobile phone penetration is very high, but smartphone penetration is low. Additionally,SMS is dirt cheap. The Indian masses will almost certainly appreciate this feature. But, the question is, how many of the masses are using Google Plus? In these early days, it’s mainly tech and social media enthusiasts who are dominating the social graph.

Why Google+ Can’t Replace Your Blog

We all know how well Google+ has been received by the early adopters and geeks. Ever since Google made entry to the Google+ club exclusive, people have been clamoring to get invites. I, myself, have been using it since it launched and I really love it.

You can check out our reviews of Google+ here:

Everything+: How Google+ Changes (And Will Change) The Social Landscape

Google Plus After One Week: Can it Challenge Facebook?

Today, Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg, announced that he would be forwarding his personal blog to his Google+ profile.

Kevin Rose:“Decided to forward to my Google+. G+ gives me more (real-time) feedback and engagement than my blog ever did.”

While I agree that Google+ is an awesome service, and that it’s finally good to see a competitor to the almighty Facebook, moving your personal blog to Google+ is a very bad idea.

While it may be easier to maintain your Google+ account, and way cheaper (actually free), you still need your own personal space on the web.

Here’s why!

1. You won’t make any money off it

While you do save hosting and domain costs, you also cannot make any money off your Google+ account. Except maybe by doing paid status updates (which I’m sure will come soon), which is sure to piss off your circles.

2. Google WILL make money off it

This is what annoys me more. While you definitely won’t be able to make a dime off your Google+ profile, Google definitely will. Google has confirmed that it will be bringing ads to Google+. Like Facebook or Twitter, I don’t think they will be offering any cut to you for the visits you get them through your profile.

3. The novelty will wear off

While it’s still exclusive, everyone wants to get in. After a while, it might become boring. Most social networks die that way. They become uncool. It happened with Friendster, Myspace, Orkut and now as some are suggesting, Facebook. And once it does, you won’t see the same levels of ‘feedback’ or ‘engagement’ on your Google+ profile. In which case, you are screwed, because…

4. You might not be able to get off

Suppose, that Google+ doesn’t manage to make it. It may seem unlikely now, but it is a possibility. Once you have invested your energy in your Google+ account, you may have to migrate to some other platform, or maybe your own blog. Google may even offer you a way to export your posts, but how will you build up your link equity again? You will have to start from scratch again, which any blogger will tell you, is very difficult.

5. A blog is a blog

Twitter is great for sharing short updates, Facebook is great for stalking people, rearing virtual cows and building virtual farms, Google+ is great for compartmentalizing your friends into different circles, and selectively share content, but a blog is a blog. Nothing can ever replace your own blog. No social service, however cool it may be, can ever represent you on the web as well as your own personal blog can.

Besides you can always share your blog posts on Google+ to get more traffic from your circles if you want.

I think Danny Sullivan pretty much hits the nail on the head when he says: “With respect to +Kevin Rose, you should no more move your blog to Google+ than you should have to Geocities. Tap into social networks, use them to build your engagement, sure. But your own domain is for life. Google+ is not. Tomorrow, Google could close it, and while you can export your content, you cannot export all that link equity with it. Your posts will 404; that’s not engagement. That’s annoying. Being master of your own domain isn’t just a funny Seinfeld episode. It’s common sense, and it shouldn’t be forgotten the moment a new flavor of social media Kool-Aid comes along.”

Google+Facebook: Get Going with Facebook Without Leaving Google Plus

google-plus-facebook-iconUPDATE: This plugin has been reported as spam and the links are disabled till further updates. Refer the comments section for more details.

ight from the launch of the new social network, there has been huge buzz around Google Plus. Now that Google has opened doors to everyone, it would be worth watching the public response. With Google Plus giving Facebook a run for their money, here is something that can make things even worse for the latter. Here is a browser extension that will let you access Facebook from within Google+. So you won’t have to miss out on your already over-burdened social-life (thanks Facebook) while being on Google Plus.

1. Head over to the Google+Facebook download page and get the extension for your browser. Use the Google+Facebook button.


2. Allow the download to start if your browser (most likely Firefox) blocks it. Install it as you do for other add-ons or extensions.

3. Now log into your Google Plus account and you will notice a Facebook button to the left of the Home button in the top navigation. Click on it.


4. You will now need to use the fConnect button to connect your Facebook account.

5. Once prompted, allow the request for permission to access your Facebook data.


Voila! you will now be able to check your Facebook wall feed from right within Google Plus. You can also update Facebook using this added functionality.


The extension is available for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Techie-Buzz Verdict:

Users of both the service will naturally love the added usability of Google Plus. However there are limitations to the extension currently. You cannot comment or like any of your friend’s activities or updates the Facebook way unlike any other popular apps. Well that would mean I’m too demanding. Whatsoever, it definitely is a good attempt to bring things together specially when socializing is the word of the day.

NOTE: You can also try and get a Facebook lookalike Google Plus and vice versa with a little help.

Google Plus vs Facebook – Funny Images

Couple of weeks back, Google introduced the new social networking feature, Google + which can currently be accessed via invite only. Within 24 hours of it’s launch, Google had to shut down the invite feature due to the insane demand of G+ invites. However, it was reported that Google Plus was open to public for a while , but within couple  of hours it was closed down again.

Although there are many people who are craving and still trying their luck to sign up or get a Google Plus invitation, several others who are already on Google+ are mocking at Facebook by creating some funny images and sharing them across their Stream.

In this post, we have complied a list of funny and extremely amusing Google+ vs Facebook images. Most of these images were shared by Google Plus fans who think that Google Plus’ elegant design and features is way better than Facebook’s UI and features and its worth moving to Google+ from Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg Don't Mention Google Plus Live vs PlusI Was On Google Plus First


Gang Sign

I Cab Explain

Google Plus vs Facebook Zidane

Football- Google Plus vs Facebook

Snooker: Google vs Facebook

Google Slaps Facebook

Moving to Google Plus

Google Plus Cruise Ship

Facebook vs Google Plus

Google Plus Hook Me Up


Facebook vs Google Plus
Please feel free to share any other funny images that I’ve missed to include in the list. You can do so by adding it in the comments section below.

P.S. Please be aware that Google has shut down the invite and sign up feature for Google Plus. There are spammers who are taking advantage of the invite feature by selling invites on eBay and elsewhere. These invites are fake and please do not consider them.

We have explored Google+ to the full extent since a week and you might want to read through our series of articles which will be helpful to you when it comes to using and understanding Google+.

Google+ Open For Everyone With a Google Account

For the past week or so you might have heard a lot about , it was launched on 28th June and opened for invites shortly thereafter.  However, for over a week, Google stopped accepting new users and also denied existing users from inviting new ones.

Google Plus Open For Everyone

If you have been mystified with Google’s new take at social networking, here is some Google news. Google+ is now officially open to anyone with a Google account. All you have to do is to go to and Sign in with your account and you will be in. Existing and new users will also be able to invite anyone they want to join the service. So no need to ask anyone for invites anymore and also can finally get rid of those spammy Google+ invites.

By the way, we have been using Google+ for over a week and you might want to read through our series of articles which will be helpful to you when it comes to using and understanding Google+.

Have fun with Google+.

Update: Looks like there is some glitch, but the signups have definitely opened up and so have the invites. Please sign in in next few hours to get in. This is very much apparent because earlier Google did not allow users to Sign In, also invites are definitely back on.