The First Year of Google+

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The 2012 Google I/O conference, an annual event attended by over 6,000 developers, not only served to make new announcements for Google, but also to celebrate the first year of Google+. The conference fell on the one year anniversary of the 2011 launch of Google’s social network. Keeping in line with previous conferences during which the tech giant announced new projects like Android and Google Maps, this year’s conference included some news about the up-and-coming social network.

The First Year of Google Plus

In honor of the first year of Google+, Google shared that the social network would soon have a tablet application as well as an events tool. Already on smartphones, Google+ will now be available as an app on certain tablets, too. Google has developed and will soon release Google+ apps for Android tablets and for the iPad. The release of these applications will help make Google+ a more mobile-based social network. New to the app will be an animated stream and improvements to hangouts, the signature multi-person video chat feature available through Google+.

In addition to the tablet application, Google+ users will also be able to use the social network in a new way with Google+ Events. This feature enables users to create and modify events and invite friends to attend. While there are similar tools available through other networks and sites, Google+ Events stands out from the pack because of its use of multimedia. Users can send video invitations and add video and photos to the event page. When “Party Mode” is on, users can even take videos and photos at the event that will automatically be uploaded to the event page the moment after they are taken.

While the tablet app and Google+ Events are big news, they aren’t the first additions Google+ has seen since its inception one year ago. Over the past year, Google+ has received a facelift in the form of a redesign and was integrated with Google Apps, which brought many Google platforms closer together. One year later, Google+ now has over 250 million users and is known to many as the premier social network for businesses.

Google has invested so much effort into its social network because it sees the potential of Google+. Just one year after its launch, Google+ has a clear purpose as a social network. In its continuing effort to bridge the gap between all of its many platforms and make the user experience more seamless, Google believes that Google+ is the key. Google has made great strides toward achieving this goal, such as when it changed its privacy policy to encompass all of its platforms, but there is still work to do, says Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google. Gundotra believes that Google+ can be the force that further connects all of the varied Google platforms and makes the user experience simpler than ever.

So what is to be expected for the second year of Google+? After a redesign, an integration, and the addition of applications, one can only assume continuous improvements and an enhanced user experience are in store for Google+.

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