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Google Social Networks The Internet Technology

The Google+ API Is Released 154

An anonymous reader writes "Developers have been waiting since late June for Google to release their API to the public. Well, today is that day. Just a few minute ago Chris Chabot, from Google+ Developer Relations, announced that the Google+ API is now available to the public."
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The Google+ API Is Released

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  • Read only (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trillan ( 597339 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:23PM (#37412956) Homepage Journal

    I can't wait to see all the interesting ideas developers have for using this read only API.

    • Re:Read only (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:35PM (#37413090) Homepage

      It is kind of lame. All you can do is read what's on someone's page. This will make screen-scraping easier.

      Interestingly, it's all JSON. XML seems to be on the way out for API interfaces.

      • by Trillan ( 597339 )

        Coincidentally, at my company we decided on a (gradual) move from XML to JSON yesterday. (We've discussed it a number of times, but this time we finally made the choice.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    They used a chatbot to launch the API?
  • Until they reverse their stance on real names, sadly I have no f*cks to give.

    • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:29PM (#37413030) Journal

      If you're not going to use the word "fuck" in plaintext when you're pseudonymized, then why the fuck do you care if you use your real name or not?

    • Keep appealing, and answering the name changer thingy. After a bit of complaining and reporting, they now allow me to use my official pseudonym.
      • Never used a pseudonym on Google+. My issue was never about *me* being able to use one.

        So I did the next best thing - I've deleted my Google Profile and have moved on.

        Thought I'd never say this, but Bing's search isn't all that bad! (j/k, j/k)

    • by horza ( 87255 )

      Same here. I stopped sending out invites, and gave up using G+. With the real names policy only a portion of the people I know will be prepared to switch, not making it worth my while to badger and cajole people into switching from Facebook. G+ is pretty much dead in the water. But people still hate Facebook so there is still room for a new competitor!


  • Now maybe there will be something interesting to use Google+ for...

    • by blair1q ( 305137 )

      You'd think a few games might help, but considering that one of the prime draws of Facebook games is that they reward social behavior (i.e. getting your friends involved) they also reward fake social behavor exploits (i.e. making up lots of fake accounts to pretend you have more friends and get more points).

      Google+ sorta forbids that cloning aspect of social gaming. But maybe a nice port of Tetris or FreeCell would get them some dwell time...

      • G+ games (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jDeepbeep ( 913892 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:57PM (#37413330)
        Games on G+ can also reward you for spamming/recruiting your friends. Angry Birds on G+ for example will keep levels locked until you and your friends have a cumulative total of stars to unlock them, so naturally you want to get more people playing. Another game lets you ask for hearts to continue gameplay and equally you can donate hearts. The difference here though is people in your circles will not see all this game stuff unless they are also in their games stream.
        • by blair1q ( 305137 )

          No no. You're missing it. Facebook thinks it's about spamming your friends. But Facebook users have made it about building fake friends to game the games.

          Which has actually made Facebook more popular, because it's not all about spamming your friends.

          I'd estimate half of Facebook's "users" are fake accounts used to stat-up gameplay.

      • Google+ sorta forbids that cloning aspect of social gaming. But maybe a nice port of Tetris or FreeCell would get them some dwell time

        Guess who else tries to forbid cloning: The Tetris Company.

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        So does Facebook

        Facebook only allows one account per person.

        • Facebook only allows one account per person.

          Yeah, but they don't really do much in order to enforce that. And they are right about that - someone making an account for his dog may be pointless, but it's harmless, too.

        • by blair1q ( 305137 )

          My friend (actual friend; I personally have no clones) has accounts for her dead father, her three dogs, several of her birds, and a potholder. At least it looks like a potholder in the picture. And several that are just her, with her own name anagrammed or otherwise manipulated, and photos of her at various ages and in various costumes.

          She may have more than 30, total.

          And from what I've seen, there's no way she's in the top half of the cloning histogram.

          What Facebook has written rules for, and what faceb

      • The big appeal of G+ is that I don't get constantly spammed about games. Lots of G+ games and it loses it's USP.
  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:28PM (#37413016) Journal

    Google+ didn't bring the gamechange.

    It's a ghost town.

    You can see Linus Torvalds and the Google Twins there, but hardly anyone else ever posts. And they don't much either. Linus' last post is 9/6, and Sergey's is 8/28, and Larry's is 8/13...

    Google needed more than a convention hall. It needed to emcee the convention. Now we have an API, and maybe some people to P it, nobody to A it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just because they don't post to you doesn't mean they don't post. I have hundreds of posts, but each one of them is private so my public profile looks empty. I don't know anyone who makes public posts. That's kind of the entire point, which you appear to have missed.

      • I don't know anyone who makes public posts. That's kind of the entire point, which you appear to have missed

        There are many I've found who use G+ as they use Twitter, IOW all public posts, like a broadcasting station/soapbox. I find what you say to be generally true of most other users though (including myself). I post daily but you wouldn't know it from my profile.

    • by bonch ( 38532 )

      The media hype made it seem more important than it really was. Same happened with Wave.

      • And ChromeOS.


        Yes, mainstream media, Google has figured out a way to make a computer that only has a web browser. Look out Microsoft, your days are numbered. You cannot possibly hope to compete with Google's operating system which does not give the ability to write code for it.


          And they did.

          And it was a stupid fucking idea and it failed faster than Windows Phone 7.

          But they did try.

    • by sehlat ( 180760 )

      John Scalzi praised it highly, and I was interested, right up until the fine print swam into view.

      IMO, the killer was the never-to-be-sufficiently-damned "Real Name" requirement. I have a google account I use for my Reader, Mail, Calendar, and Docs/Notepad the last three of which are also synchronized on my phone for mobile access. There was and is simply NO way in hell I would risk losing those under google's draconian "Right name or die!" policy, and I rather suspect an awful lot of people just walked awa

      • How blissful it must be to be so ignorant that you think the policy that effects one part of the company doesn't effect the rest of the company.

        All Google online services have a real name policy moron, they just haven't bothered to really enforce it on a large scale ... but if you just search slashdot you'll find at least one story of someone who lost Android apps for that very reason.

    • Ironically, the people I know that like it most hate facebook, and consequently aren't used to using social media (myself included).
      • I'm in that group as well. I hate Facebook, and have disliked every other major social networking site. I do like Google+, and even people think it's a Ghost Town, it's because of where they are looking. I see plenty of activity.

    • by pspahn ( 1175617 )

      The July 28th blog post on betashop.com tells a bit of a different story. ( link to Google cache, the regular site seems to be off atm. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Kro0IOBNR3IJ:betashop.com/page/2+site:betashop.com+betashop+google+plus&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us [googleusercontent.com] - It's toward the bottom below the "Make the logo smaller" t-shirt)

      It was (at the time) their single highest traffic day and 5% of that traffic came from Google+. That's nearly 9000 visits in one day to a site

    • by defaria ( 741527 )
      It's a ghost town to you perhaps but way not for me. I spend more time on Google+ than I have done on FacePlant... I mean FaceBook.
    • by RonVNX ( 55322 )

      The public wants an alternative to Facebook. Google+, as especially revealed by their "real names" policy is trying to be Facebook. G+ just is not filling any need of those who are unhappy with Facebook, let alone those who are happy.

      • I don't want to mix my real life info like my name, and professional experience, with stuff I would not want a future employer to see. Hence the need to compartmentalize the data under different account names. Since Google+ does not allow that, I'm not interested in using it much.

    • erm. I see scads more content on g+ than on facebook --OR-- on slashdot. And it's actual useful interesting stuff.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      IT LAUNCHED TWO FUCKING MONTHS AGO. You know what my facebook wall looked like two months after launch? Nothing, because I hadn't signed up for it yet. Also, the facebook wall didn't go up until 7 months after launch [facebook.com]. 10 months it had 1 million users. Two months out, google+ has 10 million users.

      Anyway, I see facebook making changes in response to the competition. Not fixing all gripes with it of course, but changes are being made to the... er... "game" as it were.

      (By the way, let's not start u
      • by blair1q ( 305137 )

        Facebook wasn't Google. Everyone was on MySapce. Nobody really knew Facebook existed for a couple of years.

        Google+ is Facebook++, and Google wallpapered the world with announcing it was open.

        Okay, it was open. It was also void of elemental human interaction, and the forced-looking posting on it isn't creating a critical mass.

        The API might help. If they can get some dwellers into some applets. Then people will go there to be, not just to see if it's woke up yet.

        Add a game, and it might gamechange the cyb

      • Look, you can't really compare the timelines between Facebook and Google+. Facebook has been around for almost a decade, and when it came out it didn't have many competitors, the whole social networking concept was new and experimental. Now Facebook is the established brand in social networking - pretty much invented the market - and it's going to be incredibly difficult for Google to topple it, even if the numbers show it to be oh so much more successful in the short term than Facebook was when it started.

        • Facebook grew by word-of-mouth, just like Google's search engine incidentally. Why is it that we believe that a big media blitz can beat that? If Edison had hyped to death his first or second try at a light bulb, we'd be using candles today.

          If Google want to build a better social networking site, maybe they should spend less on marketing, throw together lots of alternative sites, and see what sticks on the wall (pun intended). It's not like they can't afford it.

          • Your comparison is wrong. No, I don't think we're so dumb that we would be using candles rather than lightbulbs. And according to the above, it's dead, they didn't hype it ENOUGH. I have yet to see a billboard or commercial for google plus, there was a marketing blitz?
        • No competitors? Myspace was what we were using before facebook. And while facebook has been established for a while, it didn't perfect it by any stretch. There's plenty of improving to do, the different classes of associations / circles was a big one. In any event, it's too early to be saying google plus is a failed experiment.
          • How does

            it didn't have many competitors

            translate to

            No competitors?

            Yes, MySpace was a competitor but it was a much smaller market back then and Facebook did it better, so there wasn't too big of a barrier to switching. Now, if people switch completely, they have to take the hundreds of photos they've posted, and lose years of status updates, and wait for all their hundreds of friends to switch over as well - it's a big task just like reformatting your harddrive which is something that most people are also loathe to do even when it would end up being bet

    • by brunes69 ( 86786 )

      You are following the wrong people. I follow people on G+ that post like 10+ times daily. If anything they post TOO much.

    • You know, for me it's the other way around, I can hardly keep up with my friends posting on G+, while almost everybody (including myself) has largely abandoned Facebook.

      And you know something else? The plural of anecdote isn't data. Our experiences differ a lot, still the truth will be somewhere in between.

  • It only has "get" person, "list" activities and "get" activity. You can't post or do anything interesting with it yet. Hopefully they'll open it up more soon.
  • Read only makes it easy to start with. Maybe now tweetdeck and others can get view capabilities. If I can see things on G+ I am likely to go over and post.

    The trick with Write is the authentication. Now google has to figure out how to do an authentication scheme it likes (read "they developed to take over the web") for that to happen.
    • by brunes69 ( 86786 )

      Google already has an authentication scheme across all their products.

      They implement OpenID and OAuth for all google accounts.

    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      Google APIs generally use Authsub (A google invented protocol), or the combination of OpenId and OpenAuth, possibly using the Hybrid Protocol [googlecode.com],

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@@@tpno-co...org> on Thursday September 15, 2011 @02:53PM (#37413280) Homepage

    ...if they ever got around to fixing google apps so it worked with google+. Instead, all we ( us google apps users ) get are false promises...when we get anything at all.

    Can anyone recommend a decent competitor to Google Apps?

    • Don't throw a rotten tomato at me, but Office 365 is pretty good, especially its SharePoint feature.

      • While I have OSS leanings, I'm more interested in getting the job done rather than making any ideological stands. 365 is interesting, I'll have to take a look at it.

    • This. I could probably convince a number of friends and family to check it out but they don't want to sign up for a gmail.com specific account when they already have Google Apps accounts. If they added profiles to Google Apps accounts (or whatever is holding this back) and API features so I can cross-post (a la the Twitter app on Facebook) then I'd be set. The mobile app for G+ is light years better than Facebook's, and I especially like the "nearby" stream and the instant upload features. But as it is

    • You're thinking about bolting from google apps because their google+ is taking a while longer than they promised? I assume there's a reason that signing up for a regular gmail account and using google plus in the meantime isn't acceptable?
      • Not exactly. It's the fact that they seem completely unable to act professionally by giving status updates and accurate timelines. It doesn't speak highly of their continued interest in my business. I'd rather have my email hosted by a company that seems genuinely concerned with keeping the customer happy. Obviously that's not google. Which makes sense, when you think about it. Despite the fact I'm paying them, I'm the product not the customer. Their customers are the folks forking over the bills for

    • ...if they ever got around to fixing google apps so it worked with google+. Instead, all we ( us google apps users ) get are false promises...when we get anything at all.

      You do not want Google+ if you have paid-for Google Apps. According to their ToS, if they think you might have posted something objectionable, they'll shitcan your account, and maybe you can complain to a Google customer service robot about it.

      I have only a free Google account, but I've stopped posting to Google+. I have a free Gmail I do

      • According to their ToS, if they think you might have posted something objectionable, they'll shitcan your account, and maybe you can complain to a Google customer service robot about it.

        Which is ... exactly ... the same ... as all other Google services, like sharing your Docs or Spreadsheets.

        Facebook doesn't behave that way and even if they did,

        Funny how you can completely ignore all the shit that facebook does but you bitch about the same rules applying to Google. You're just too ignorant to realize they are pretty much the exact same as far as ToS goes, and that Google ToSes are ALL pretty much identical. Someone else bothered to read the Google+ ToS and told you about it, which is the only reason you have anything against Google+. You'

    • by afabbro ( 33948 )

      Can anyone recommend a decent competitor to Google Apps?

      I haven't really examined it, but Zoho is the service I usually hear in the context of Google Apps Competitor.

  • The piecemeal "lab" releases that were functional but only 75-85% complete were okay 10 years ago. Anymore, they just give the appearance of not really giving a crap. Overlay that with an Apple-esque approach to usability and terms of use and it just becomes gWorld over and over again.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The first thing that struck me is that quota limits are placed on all applications
          "Applications are limited to a courtesy usage quota"
    this will suck for anyone who wants to create an application intended for many users.

  • by who_stole_my_kidneys ( 1956012 ) on Thursday September 15, 2011 @03:18PM (#37413558)
    I was hoping that Google+ would be the next best thing, and pop the bubble that is FaceBook. but its not going to happen, most people that would have wanted to move, tried G+, and left sin no one was there and the people who haven't heard about G+ don't care enough to switch. So unless the new API can cook my dinner and wash my clothes and give me a hand job, there is no reason to switch since all the people i care to talk to (and allot of people I don't) are on the FB, ill just stay until it becomes myspace.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jdgeorge ( 18767 )

      Mmmm... Yes. Facebook is definitely the service for you're looking for. <Jedi hand wave> There is no Google+.

    • by ukyoCE ( 106879 )

      Declaring G+ dead already, really? How hard is it to use both G+ and Facebook, why would you have to "switch"? Facebook and Twitter are already conjoined in the way most people talk about them. And how many other social networks are you using simultaneously? A hell of a lot of them. Let's see?

      Your e-mail address book.
      IM (probably gchat and AIM, if not also MSN and Yahoo).
      Steam, Bnet, Xbox Live, PSN. Eventually Nintendo might make a serious online platform and you'll add WiiNet to the list.

    • All I'm doing on G+ is just reacting to others now. I went back to posting stuff on FB and occasionally to my own blog (when I have something to say that I think more than two people might want to hear about it.) And I'm not recommending G+ to anyone any more.

      Still doing better than Diaspora, though, which is so pathetic it has to send out "we're still here" email...

  • Nearly everyone I know that uses Facebook hates using Facebook. So the market was ready for invasion. Hell, people are leaving Facebook in significant numbers and that's with no alternative site to go to!!! Even normal people (you know what I mean) hate Facebook!

    Our efforts to promote it didn't work; Google+ has failed.

    The reason? Well, there are two:

    1. Google+ is a really, really, really, *really* terrible brand-name. Idiots. How does 'Google+' say 'Social Network'? In any way? For the love of God

    • by ukyoCE ( 106879 )

      I completely agree on the Google+ name, and their weird attempt to push "+1" as a substitute for "like".

      Interface design however, I can't agree on. They may not be up to Apple's standards, but they're generally head and shoulders above the rest of their competitors. Google+ is still new and growing, and the interface can and will change easily as they experiment and look at feedback and usability. On the other hand, fixing the poor name and +1 will be harder the longer the wait.

      • I completely agree on the Google+ name, and their weird attempt to push "+1" as a substitute for "like".

        Mod parent +1 Insightful ;-)

        Interface design however, I can't agree on. They may not be up to Apple's standards, but they're generally head and shoulders above the rest of their competitors. Google+ is still new and growing, and the interface can and will change easily as they experiment and look at feedback and usability. On the other hand, fixing the poor name and +1 will be harder the longer the wait.

        The thing I like best about the Google+ interface is that the privacy controls are integrated into posting better. The ability to decide which circles should see a post is very clear, whereas with Facebook, I think they have the ability to do that, but it is not as obvious (plus I would have to organise everyone into catagories all at once; with Google+ I can do it as I add people as it was a feature from the start).

  • When I first heard about this, I was excited. I can post to Twitter and Facebook (if I used the latter) using Seesmic Desktop, but can't post to Google+ unless I go to their website. This is because Seesmic (and other 3rd party clients) didn't have an API to access the site. Unfortunately, when I looked at the API, it's read-only. So Seesmic could show you comments on your stream, but to post an update or comment, you'd still have to go to their site. Perhaps the read-and-write API will come soon, but

  • I'm holding out this idealogical hope that when Google+ comes out of beta they'll announce that, "oh, by the way, it's federated, and here's Lars on his Yahoo+ account, and this is me adding him as a friend on my Google+"


    • by aug24 ( 38229 )
      Me too - a proper cryptographically signed trust api between any two social networks (for a common set of tasks) is the holy grail.
  • I was a huge early proponent of Google+, and actively evangelized it to my friends and family. But it's been months now, and they haven't fixed anything that's wrong with the site, the mobile apps are still a mess, and as far as I can tell they never resolved the "real names" thing or even issued an apology. And they've botched virtually every other step of the launch.

    At this point, I'm about to give up and reactivate my Facebook account. I just don't think Google is agile enough to run an evolving so

  • That's cool, but until they fix their stupid "real names only" policy, I'm not touching Google+

Much of the excitement we get out of our work is that we don't really know what we are doing. -- E. Dijkstra