There’s been a lot of confusion on Google+ about when businesses will be allowed to have pages, and why certain companies and news outlets were allowed to violate the initial prohibition. There was a lot of bellyaching (see above) the other day and then heads started to roll. On Thursday, Google purged the unauthorized accounts of companies such as CBS News, NBC News, the Seattle Times, and Mashable News, which now is founder Pete Cashmore’s page. (see above.) No need to despair, capitalists! In “the next few months” Google will roll out “business profiles.” Until then, as TheNextWeb reported:
It seems however that Google is encouraging businesses, for the time being, to pick a real person from its organization as a mouthpiece who can share links on the network.
Finally there is an iPhone app for Google+. I complained on Twitter this weekend that I was tempted to get an Android phone. Almost! The Google phones already had a G+ app and I was envious. Of course I won’t give up my iPhone 4 until a phone comes along that kicks the shit out of it. That probably will come this fall with the iPhone 5. 😀 Okay, the G+ app is nifty. You don’t get full functionality. No group video chat with hangouts, but who needs that on their phone? Group chat, yes. So my Google+ plus journey continues and the universe expands. There was a hiccup at the beginning when the iTunes App Store released a test version rather than the true release. I downloaded the test version and it was glitchy and the tech heads started to immediately bellyache. Within an hour or two, the correct version was released. Works fine so far.
Tonight I found out William Shatner is on Plus, and he calls us Plusers. And he was complaining that you can only put 5,000 total people in your circles. I hope Google listens to him, because I plan on putting the entire world into Google+.
In my last post, I said Google+ is what you make of it. So far, I’ve created an expanded Twitter. The people I know at some level and the people I follow are drawn almost exclusively from Twitter. A few are also friends on Facebook. My universe of Facebook friends is a hodgepodge collection of real-life friends and co-workers, old classmates, people I friended to interview for stories, people I met on MySpace who switched to Facebook (use your imagination), people I met from other online groups (such as Wonkette commenters), etc. My Google+ crowd is on Twitter, is tech-savvy, and smart. The quality of posting and commenting is very high. These folks also talk a lot about Google+, which I don’t mind, though some are feeling free to post animated cat GIFS and otherwise diversify their voice. I called My Version of Google+ an expanded Twitter because the people I know on Twitter are now being revealed to me beyond the 140-character limit. Especially for people I’m following, such as high-profile entrepreneurs and tech journalists, I am getting access to their thinking that was only available if they had some other outlet and linked to it on Twitter. With all that said, this means that these people are spending less time on Twitter. So my version of Google+ plus is cannibalizing Twitter. Every minute I spend on Google+ is a minute I would have spent scrolling through my fast-paced Twitter stream. I love Twitter and don’t want to hurt it. Xeni Jardin, an editor at Boing Boing, wasn’t so sentimental when she declared: “It’s official. I like G+ more than Twitter now.”
I finally got access to Google+. After Facebook announced and launched Skype videochat, Google unlocked Google+ overnight, to presumably steal a little bit of the spotlight back. Once I got in, my first major task was to contend with Circles, the feature that groups people by categories. Who goes where? I decided to get rid of the “acquaintances” circle and start off with friends, family, and people I follow. I uploaded a few photos just so people can have something to see and that was about it. I’ve ordered a headset so I can use the group videochat function called Hangouts, which means I haven’t tried it yet. People seem to like it. Anyway, I did a lot of reading and one idea stood out: Google+ is where you can restart your social network. More
I’m already angry at Google+ and I haven’t even tried it yet. I’ve had people send me invites, but Google+ hasn’t been activated for me. I keep getting the message: “We’ve temporarily exceeded our capacity.” It’s not like everyone has it and I don’t. Only a small fraction of Google accounts have it as part of a “limited field trial.” So I’ll get in, eventually. Oh yeah, I forgot to explain what it is: More
Google today will make widely available a new “search by image” feature. It’s up and running and I typed “Ed Rendell,” former Guv of Pennsylvania. This was the first image that came up. I did a search-by-image and came up with this. Pretty cool. The Google Goggles image-recognition function on its mobile app is very impressive: Analyze a picture of, say, a Coke bottle, and you get a link to a Google search for Coke. There are limitations. With the new image-search feature, it would be interesting to search a photo of an unidentified person you are trying to identify. However, Google is not keen on such a feature, according to Wired.com:
Google says it won’t be using any facial recognition technology and that the search works best when an image has some sort of “fame” — so that for instance, Google wouldn’t be able to tell you who lived in a given house in a photo, unless it was something like Graceland.