Friday 21 October 2011

Google+ To Accommodate Pseudonyms

At the San Francisco's Web 2.0 Summit on Wednesday, Google announced that they will soon accommodate pseudonyms, support Google Apps users, roll out pages for brands and be launching a developer platform for Google+.

With pseudonyms being one of the major criticisms of the new social network, Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra addressed this issue by asking for a little time to figure out a way to use nicknames and handles without dramatically changing the atmosphere of Google+. "It's complicated to get this right." Gundotra said.

Google's policy to force users to go by their real names has been hit by controversy over the past few weeks. With this in mind, Google is now working on a way to allow people to sign-up under pseudonyms on Google+.

Support for Google Apps users should be coming in a matter of days, according to Gundotra with tools for brands taking a little bit longer. A developer platform is also on it's way but you might have to wait until next Spring, possibly at Google's I/O developer event before it becomes available. "We don't want to do anything haphazard to change the platform after developers come to depend on it" says Gundotra.

Gundotra also said Google+ would roll out pages for brands. Major advertisers already use Facebook and Twitter to reach large audiences on those services. This is good news for advertisers and it's indicated that this new feature should be available before the end of the year.

Although Google+ has increased it's momentum with more than 40 million users (which is up from 10 million from three months ago according to Co-founder and Chief Executive Larry Page), it still has stiff competition and some catching up to do with Facebook, which has more than 800 million users around the globe. When asked how Google could compete against the world's most popular social network, Gundotra said: "We're going to play a different game. It may take some period of time."

It certainly looks as though Google are working hard to improve Google+, but it's also very clear that they are also learning from their recent mistakes, especially with a policy reversal to accommodate pseudonyms.

Do you think Google was wrong not to allow pseudonyms in the beginning? Are you looking forward to these new features? Please let me know by leaving your comments.

Other News: In the next week, Google's Reader tool will get a revamp to add a social layer and connections to Google+. The refresh will see Google retire many of the Reader's existing social features, such as friending, following and shared-link blogs. "We think it's important to clean things up a bit," says Google's Software Engineer Alan Green in a blog post yesterday. You can read more on this story on The Official Google Reader Blog.

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  1. Well, I think it would be seen as copying Twitter in one way or another, and less resembling Facebook. I think Google+ is as unique as it could get, because really, what chances does it have to invent something totally new without getting criticism and resembling other networks? Great post.

  2. I agree John. No matter what they do, they're going to get some kind of criticism somewhere along the line. Thank you for taking the time to leave your valued comment.

  3. Yes I did criticize GOOGLE+ for not being able to use pseudonyms. But I thought it was a private conversation and nobody heard me. :)


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