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Published on August 22nd, 2012 | by John I.

Google+ Wraps Up Year One

The 2012 Google I/O conference, an annual event that has marked many major announcements for Google, lived up to expectations as it celebrated the first year of Google+.  Typically attracting 6,000 developers, previous conferences have released information on big projects like Android and Google Maps.  This year, Google announced additions to Google+ as the company’s new social network wrapped up its first year.

Last summer Google introduced its social network to the world, and since then it has grown to more than 250 million users worldwide.  Throughout its first year, Google+ underwent a number of changes, including integration with Google Apps in November and a redesign in the spring.  The integration helped bring Google+ closer to other Google platforms and made it easier for users to connect all of their Google identities.  Meanwhile, the redesign greatly improved the user experience on the social network as it allowed users to customize their own navigation ribbon, made photos larger and clearer than ever, displayed trends, and much more.

Now, Googlers have learned that two more changes are on the way.  Google recently released a Google+ app for Android tablets and iPads, significantly increasing the mobility of this relatively new social media outlet.  With an animated stream and upgraded tools for hangouts, the tablet apps will help users take the Google+ social network on the go.

Along with the tablet-based app, Google also introduced Google+ Events.  This new tool, available now, enables users to create event pages on Google+.  People can invite guests who can, in turn, RSVP.  What truly makes Google+ Events stand out from similar tools is the extent to which it utilizes multimedia.  For example, users can create video invitations and upload photos and videos to the event page.  Additionally, event guests can automatically upload photos and videos from the event to the page right as they are taken by turning on “Party Mode.”  With this option selected, photos and videos taken during the event are sent directly to the event page after they are shot.

Google+ has improved significantly over the past year and it is quickly becoming a focal point for Google.  Recently, Google has set out to make users’ experiences simpler and more seamless.  One step toward achieving this goal was changing the privacy policy in March 2012 to include all of the Google platforms in one, giant policy rather than in separate, individual policies.  Nevertheless, Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google, believes that more can be done to achieve this goal.  According to Gundotra, Google+ will be a major factor in bringing the many varied Google platforms closer together and in making the online experience simpler and smoother.  This may be because the social network gives users a public forum to merge all of their Google identities.  For example, users can find people to add to their circles through their contacts in Gmail and can create events based on their Google Calendar.

Known as the number one social network for businesses, Google+ has come a long way during its first year.  The social network will begin its second year with a more focused purpose and with better features and tools than ever.

Cloud Sherpas is a leading cloud service provider and was named the “Google Enterprise 2011 Partner of the Year.” As one of the first Google Enterprise partners, Cloud Sherpas has migrated over one million users across a variety of industries from legacy, on-premise messaging systems to Google Apps, helping organizations adopt cloud computing to innovate and dramatically reduce their IT expenses. AGoogle Apps Reseller in Atlanta, GA, Cloud Sherpas has regional offices in locations including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Austin and Sydney, and has more Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialists than any other partner in the world.

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