Google+ Celebrates Its First Birthday

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July 11, 2012

Google+ enjoyed quite the first birthday celebration, as the one year anniversary of its 2011 launch fell during the annual Google I/O, a California-based conference attended by over 6,000 developers.  In the past Google I/O has seen the launch of new projects and products including Android, Chrome, Google Maps, and more, and the 2012 conference did not disappoint.In light of the one year anniversary of its eponymous social network, Google made some major announcements about Google+ at this year’s conference.  Googlers learned that a Google+ app for Android tablets and iPads is on the way and that there are some new features available in Google+.

With more than 250 million people currently using Google+, the social network is definitely coming into its own.  In order to further the process, Google has already released an application for the Android tablet and says that an application for the iOS operating systems is coming soon.  According to those who have previewed the application, the wait was certainly worthwhile.  The Google+ tablet application includes animations, enhanced hangouts, and was clearly designed with human interaction in mind.  According to Google, features of the social network have been tweaked to improve their appearances on tablets.

Not only did Google announce the new tablet apps for Google+, but the tech giant also broke the news about a new feature on the social network: Google+ Events.  Through this application Google+ users can create events and invite others to attend.  But Google+ Events will stand out from similar applications on other networks because of its multimedia capabilities, which include creating video invitations and adding photos.  Event guests can even upload photos and videos automatically to the event page as the event is taking place by choosing to be in “Party Mode.”

In addition to the tablet application and new Events tool, Google+ also saw a redesign and an integration with Google Apps during its first year.  So now that it’s been a year since the social network launched, what kind of role does it play?  For Google, the answer is an important one.

One of Google’s most recent efforts, in which Google+ plays a major role, is to make “a simpler, more intuitive experience for all Google users,” says Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google.  Gundotra believes that Google+ helps connect various Google applications to one another.  Google’s new privacy policy, which went into effect in March, highlighted the company’s effort to create a seamless user experience across all of its platforms, as it integrated them all into one policy.  Increased use of Google+ and all of the tools associated with it will also make each user’s experience across all the Google platforms more seamless.

Already considered the premier social network for businesses, Google+ is expected to continue to make big strides as it enters its second year with a better design, a clear purpose, and more tools than ever before.

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