Extending the Google+ Platform To Mobile

Thursday, June 28, 2012 | 11:43 AM

Since unveiling Google+ to the world a year ago, the number of mobile users on Google+ has grown rapidly. In fact, there are now more people that use Google+ from a mobile device than from a desktop computer. We have always believed in the importance of mobile for our users, and today, we are announcing an offering for mobile developers -- the Google+ platform for mobile, in early developer preview.

This platform includes mobile web optimized social plugins and Google+ SDK for iOS and Android (coming soon). With these new SDKs, you can integrate Google+ identity, sharing, and history into your mobile apps to create more engaging social experiences and connect with more users.

Check out the mobile platform documentation to learn more about integrating Google+ into your app!

We are just getting started and would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Share your thoughts and follow the conversation on Google+.

Apps are a Plus in Hangouts

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 | 1:06 PM

We’ve seen Google+ Hangouts being used in the most creative and innovative ways, connecting fans, facilitating debates, and making a difference in people’s lives.

Three months ago, we launched the Google+ Hangouts API, with the belief that developers can build even more memorable experiences and activities inside the face-to-face-to-face setting of hangouts. The response so far has been exciting.

In the 90 days since we launched apps in hangouts, we’ve seen:

  • over 200 apps built for hangouts 
  • the average duration of a hangout increase by 2.5 times when participants use an app 
  • 1 in every 3 hangouts use an app. 
Today, we are introducing a new set of featured apps built by developers around the world that provide fun and entertaining activities for our users. 
  1. Google Art Project: Explore collections from around the world with thousands of artworks photographed in extremely high resolution. You can play an art guide and take your friends on a tour of different museums. 
  2. New YouTube App: Create, control, save and even share playlists of videos with friends—all inside a hangout. It’s like your own VIP table at the world’s coolest YouTube party. 
  3. New Effects App: One of the most popular hangout apps gets more fun with a brand new UI and with the introduction of new effects. 
  4. Symphonical: Conduct your business meetings and manage projects in real-time using the Symphonical app for hangouts. 
  5. MiniClip 8-ball Pool: Challenge friends to a game of pool with real-time stats tracking. 
  6. A Story Before Bed: Family hangouts just got better with this app. Pick a storybook from the shelf and read it to your loved ones. 
  7. Panoramio Game: Compete with friends to be the most precise wanderer by finding out where a photo was taken while traveling around the world with Google Maps through stunning Panoramio photos. If you are the best, you get to choose your next destination. 
  8. Cheer On: Root for your favorite sports team by customizing your video appearance in a hangout. With so many sporting events coming up this summer, this is one app you must have next time you are in a hangout.
We are still in the early days of this real-time platform and can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Learn more about how you can get started building hangouts into your app.

Launching Google +1 Recommendations Across the Web

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 11:37 AM

UPDATE (7/9/12): After a few productive weeks in platform preview, we're rolling out +1 recommendations to all users today. Thanks for your feedback at Google I/O, in the discussion forums, and on our Google+ page. We're always eager to hear from you -- so keep it coming.

Working on +1, we often hear people say they want to see more of what their friends recommend. Likewise, when we talk to site owners, they ask us to help them show more relevant content to their users. Today, we are rolling out a new feature of the +1 button in platform preview: when users hover over a +1 button, they will see recommendations for other great content on your site.

For example, when I go the the Chrome Web Store and look at +1 recommendations on the Gmail app, I see related apps and recommendations from friends.

To keep these recommendations more relevant and on-topic, they will always refer to pages on the same domain or subdomain as the +1 button.

If you’ve already added the +1 button to your site, there’s nothing more you need to do. Recommendations will work across all +1 buttons for all users, whether or not they’re signed into Google+. This update will go live to all of your users in the next few weeks.

If you want to see recommendations today, sign up for the developer preview group and tell us what you think. The +1 team and I would love to hear from you! As always, we are iterating quickly and are hungry for your feedback.

Join the conversation on Google+.