Interesting Features of Google+

I was lucky enough to get onto Google + right from day one, owing to someone with the same name adding me to one of their +Circles and sending out an update. Since then I have been following the conversations about this product from Google with some interest. While a lot of it is very similar to what I have been used to with Facebook and Twitter, a lot of it is very different. Fortunately there are a lot of very long and detailed articles, blogs and videos where you can get a good feel of what the world thinks about Google+. What I want to focus on here are some of the really interesting tidbits that I have come across over the last few days while using and reading about Google+.

Formatting your Posts in Google+

One of the first thing that caught my attention (and the attention of a lot of others) was how Google+ is handling basic formatting of the posts. If you don’t already know, here is a quick primer.

  • Using _word_ will result in italicized text like word
  • Using *word* will result in bold text like word
  • Using -word- will result in strike through text

Once you have these basics down you can go ahead and combine them to your hearts content. You have got to appreciate the geekyness of the above methods. Would you expect anything else from Google?

Searching Inside Google+

Over the next few days or weeks you will obviously start seeing Google+ results in your Google web searches. However, if you want a more powerful search to be available to you to search among the jungle of Google+ you can do that by customizing the search engines used in your Chrome browser. This search can be done on both Profiles and Posts that are there on Google+.

To make changes to your Google Chrome search engines, just go to the spanner icon -> Options -> Basics -> Manage search engines OR you can get there faster by going to the url chrome://settings/searchEngines.

 

Google+ Profiles and Posts searches added to Chrome search engines

Here, in the bottom box the last row is blank for you to enter details for new search engines that you may want to use in Chrome. This is where you need to enter the details below.

 

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Google+ Posts posts {google:baseURL}search?q=site:plus.google.com inurl:posts/* %s
Google+ Profiles profiles {google:baseURL}search?q=%s&tbs=prfl:e

 

This adds new search engines to your list. Using any of these while searching in Chrome will give you either results from the Posts or the Profiles on Google+.

Updating Facebook Status through Google+ (No Extensions)

This is fairly simple to do since the whole concept of circles is based on email addresses and not on people who are already using the service.

  • To start you need to go log in to your Facebook account and then go to http://facebook.com/mobile.
  • Here, Facebook explains the various ways in which you can use Facebook via a mobile. What you need is in the bottom row. The option to “Upload via Email” is what you need. Here you have the unique email ID given you by Facebook.

Get the unique email ID provided by Facebook

  • Copy this email ID and go to the Google+ Circles page.
  • Create a new circle and call it Facebook Updates or some such name and add the email ID to that circle as a contact.

Circle created with just the Facebook email ID

Now whenever you want to update your Facebook status through Google+, just send the update to the Facebook Updates circle and it will appear in your Facebook stream.

These were some of the features that I found to be interesting and also fairly useful. I am certain that as this product matures, we will see a lot more of these come up and become available

6 Responses to “Interesting Features of Google+”

  1. Anthony
    July 9, 2011 at 4:57 AM #

    Facebook update is not working.. you think they disabled it? Am I the only person having probs?

    • admin
      July 9, 2011 at 5:01 AM #

      @Anthony I doubt that they would disable it. I tried it just now, and it seems to be working.

      • Serge
        July 13, 2011 at 1:10 PM #

        It works

  2. Jake
    July 13, 2011 at 9:43 PM #

    Mine seems to be truncating after about 25 characters.. anyone else having this issue? Any way to fix it?

    • admin
      July 14, 2011 at 1:38 AM #

      @jake there was some mention of the truncation of the status updates you send through Google+, but I don’t think that it was 25 characters. Let me check on this.

      • Jake
        July 14, 2011 at 11:42 PM #

        I guessed, and was wrong. It’s 40 characters, but is replicable.

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