Google is accelerating a test of corporate accounts on Google+ after "thousands upon thousands" of businesses applied for a place in the program, a Google executive said.
The company plans next week to choose who'll get into the test and announce their names soon afterward, Christian Oestlien, a Google product manager, said in a Google+ post last night.
But if you want your company, brand name, school, or celebrity pet to have a place on Google sooner rather than later, you'd better act fast. Google is closing down its applications form on Friday, he said.
Google, trying to take a stand with its new social network, requires people to use real-world names on Google+. The real world, though, turns out to be more complex than a simple rule can accommodate.
Now two weeks old and growing like a weed, Google+ is facing issues that became common once the Internet made people's identity into information that can reach potentially anyone on the planet. With Google+ and the Google Profiles service on which it relies, the company is trying to build a service without pseudonyms, anonymous cowards, or impersonation.
"Google Profiles is a product that works best in the identified state. This way you can be certain you're connecting with the right person, and others will have confidence knowing that there is someone real behind the profile they're checking out," according to the Google help files for Google+. "For this reason, Google Profiles requires you to use the name that you commonly go by in daily life."
Most people are known by the name that appears on their driver's license or school registry and probably won't think twice about using that when joining a social network. There are plenty of advantages to that approach: anonymous forums are often degraded by trolling, attacks, and flame wars. Using real names brings some measure of accountability, since your reputation is on the line when you voice an opinion.
But there are acres of gray area, too. Political dissidents may want to avoid persecution. Those who've been harassed may want to avoid more of it. And plenty of people want both online interactions and privacy. … Read more
Google+ appears to be in the midst of a population explosion.
A statistical analysis by Paul Allen, founder of Ancestry.com and chief executive of Facebook app maker FamilyLink.com, concludes that the Google+ population reached 7.3 million on Sunday, July 10, and likely will reach 10 million today.
The tool didn't actually copy e-mail addresses from Facebook--only first and last names. It then matched those names to other e-mail records in the user's accounts. But Facebook disabled the API (application programming interface) key that the software used to read the names, Open-Xchange Chief Executive Rafael Laguna said.
Facebook gave two reasons for the move and underscored the seriousness of its decision with a warning about the repercussions: … Read more
Apparently Google is feeling more confident about expanding the population of its social network, because the "invite people to Google+" button has been visible for well over a day.
The button had been appearing fleetingly since the Google+ launch on June 28, so Google's decision to leave it up carries the message that the company is less concerned now about a big growth spurt. Of course, the company can still throttle the rate at which it delivers those invitations or the rate it signs up the new members when they open their invitations, but the relative ease … Read more
Open-Xchange, a company making open-source software for e-mail and other collaboration tasks, released a tool today to help people migrate extract contact information their Facebook friends have shared.
"The cloud needs to be open--just as source code and data protocols needed to be open to create the Internet. With more and more data moving into and being created inside the cloud, this data needs to be owned by the creators, not the services," Open-Xchange Chief Executive Rafael Laguna said in a blog post explaining Open-Xchange's tool.
The Google+ team, facing strong demand for the new social-networking service, has expansion on its mind.
Google briefly let Google+ users invite new members last night in a plan to double the social network's population. And Google has begun detailing its plans for letting business users, not just individuals, use the service starting later this year.
Google has been limiting the individual sign-up rate, leading to frustration among many who want to get in. But Dave Besbris, the Google+ engineering director, said last night it was time for another growth spurt.
"Things are going well with the systems … Read more
Video chat is the big thing again, at least according to Facebook, which let loose a new video chat service yesterday. Powered by Skype, the new feature lets Facebook users start video calls with one another while continuing to use the site.
While other video chat tools may have been built on top of Facebook's application platform, this now comes out of the box for Facebook users, old and new. The result is that Facebook's added yet another way for its 750 million users to communicate with one another.
But moving beyond the hype, the big thing you'… Read more
If you left your Android phone at home in San Francisco, then hopped on a plane to New York, you could still receive texts and phone calls in the concrete jungle if you happen to have an app called MightyText downloaded on your phone and access to Google Chrome on your computer.
Maneesh Arora, a co-founder of MightyText, thinks it's silly that we can't get texts on our computer, so he created a company to solve that problem. MightyText pushes text messages and calls from Android phones to the computer screen. So far, Arora says, "we have … Read more