A nice addition to Hangouts with extras has been made available today over at plus.google.com/hangouts/extras, bringing with it the ability to place phone calls directly from within a hangout. Much like phone calls in Gmail, which recently got an international rollout, the feature will be available for free, initially to users in the US and Canada. Also, outgoing calls will come from your Google Voice number, if applicable. If you’re interested in trying it out, here’s how to do it: Read more
President Barack Obama has officially joined Google+ today. President Obama can already be found on Twitter, where he actively — and his staff — make posts throughout the day. On his first day the President has already made three posts, which is pretty active for day one. As he begins to learns the ropes, the President could use his Plus profile more as a blog than anything. It will be interesting to see if the President uses Google+ Hangouts to communicate with citizens, as some of his opponents already have.
Welcome to the Obama 2012 Google+ page. We’re still kicking the tires and figuring this out, so let us know what you’d like to see here and your ideas for how we can use this space to help you stay connected to the campaign.
Google announced in a post today on the AdWords blog that a new API for third-party apps will allow businesses to manage their branded Google+ pages through social media management services like HootSuite.
Initially the API will only be open to six partners including Buddy Media, Involver, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Vitrue, and HootSuite. Starting with selects users, these services will allow businesses to manage their circles, make posts to their Google+ page, and monitor activity and analytics. On the Hootsuite website, for instance, features listed include the ability to manage circles, as well as “monitor, search, share, and post” right within the app’s interface.
The API will inevitably be opened up to more third-party apps after the initial experiment, and social media management companies can already click here to sign up. Below is an image showing Google+ integration in the updated HootSuite dashboard, which is probably the most in-depth solution, and it looks like just about every aspect of a Google+ page has been included. Read more
It has been just over a week since Google opened up branded pages for businesses on Google+, and according to a report from TPM, a page for Bank of America has already been vandalized with satirical messages mocking the company’s business practices. Here’s an example of one of the posts made to the page:
“We are committed to making as much money as possible from usury, coercion, bribery, insider trading, extortion, and debit card fees as possible.”
You can see the “We took your bailout money and your mortgage rates are going up” tagline in the screenshot of the page above, which was snapped before the page was not so promptly taken down a week after it was created. You will also notice the candid photos of former CEO Kenneth Lewis along the top. Other posts were of the same entertaining caliber:
“Starting tomorrow, all Occupy Wall Street protestors with Bank of America accounts around the country will have their assets seized as part of BofA’s new Counter-Financial-Terrorism policy…You will sit down and shut up, or we will foreclose on you.”
It should be noted the page wasn’t exactly hijacked, rather created, as one currently only has to link a page to an official website and provide an address and phone number. While Google hasn’t officially commented on the Bank of America page, they did have this to say to TPM regarding the situtation: Read more
Google+ engineer Vermont Lasmarias revealed today that a new section displaying all of your recently played games has been added to the Google+ homepage. The new section can be found in the bottom left, and allows you to quickly launch into a game where you left off. Luckily, if you’re not a fan of the new games section, or just want to free up your side bar, you can get rid of the widget right from the homepage too.
Following the introduction of branded Google+ pages for businesses and brands, Google has made a point of letting us know the ins and outs of the service. We learned earlier today that promotions will be strictly forbidden from branded pages, i.e. no direct advertising of contests, offers, sweepstakes, etc. In addition to launching a new Pages guide that acts as a resource for those who want to learn more, they also made a post on the official Google+ page today outlining some of the intricacies of the service.
You might have known a couple of these, but others probably not. For instance, Google+ Pages cant mention or follow a user unless you’ve connected with them first, and a page will automatically unfollow a user if the user unfollows the page. Below is the full list from Google, or head over to the new Google+ pages resource center to learn more about how to share, promote, and measure the traffic of your brand page. Read more