Wednesday, August 10, 2011

G++ Extension Integrates #Facebook & #Twitter - #googleplus

G++ is a new extension that allows for integration of Facebook and Twitter into Google+. Features include merged streams, cross-network sharing, optimized interaction, and more. The extension is available for both Firefox and Chrome, and you can download it here. I tested it out earlier this week and here’s what I found.

1. Installation

It was a pretty straightforward install for me on Chrome. I just went to the site and clicked the “Add to Chrome” button (you can also get it from the Chrome Web Store).
After installing the extension, if you head over to your Google+ page you should see the G++ icon in the top right, with the option to turn it on, off, or logout.

When turned on, you will see options for Google+, Twitter, and Facebook above your stream. You will have to enable the functionality for Twitter and Facebook by checking each box.

When checked, you will be redirected to a page to confirm access of the application, and log-in to the respective network (you may need to temporarily disable pop-ups). After access is granted, you will be returned to your Google+ page.
And that should do it. You should be ready to use the extension.

2. Sharing

After the install I tried out sharing. Below the share box in Google+, you will now see options to share to Facebook & Twitter.
I first tried out sharing a short update with a link across all three networks, as seen below.

Clicking the G++ Share button will share to Facebook and/or Twitter, while you still use the standard process for sharing in Google+. After the share I checked out all three streams and found my updates, as seen below.

After this basic test I decided to push the limits and see if I could break it, like any good tester would do. First I tried to share a post that was obscenely long, which we know is fair game on Google+, but not on Twitter or Facebook.
As you can see if you try to share it to Twitter it warns you that it exceed the character limit. I also tried to just post it to Facebook, which has its 420 character limit, but I got no warnings and it said it posted, but it didn’t show up on my feed. So that was a little buggy, but I’m sure it will be fixed soon.
Finally, I tried sharing media as in videos and photos through G++ but that didn’t work either, which makes sense as they all handle media differently, but a good thing to know.
Overall, it does a good job at sharing links and short updates across all three platforms, but be aware of character limits and sharing media.

3. Stream

I think this is the best part of the extension as you can view all three streams in one place. By toggling the stream settings at the top of the page, you can see your Google+ stream, your Facebook stream, your Twitter stream or any combination of the three in one page. You also have a handy refresh button for when you change things up.
When you have all three checked, it alternates each post between the three networks so you’re not overwhelmed by a single feed. What’s even better is that you can interact with posts from the other two networks. For example on Facebook posts you can “Like” things or Comment and on Twitter you can Retweet and Reply.
I think this is the key feature of integrating the streams, as you not only can view your streams, but also interact with them. In conclusion, G++ is a great extension that is available for both Firefox and Chrome, so go check it out today!

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