August 29, 2012 Cam Levack
What’s in a name? Apparently lots, according to Google+ and its growing membership. Considered by some critics the best social network for adults, Google+ recently revamped its interface to make it simpler and more attractive. The network has quickly gained momentum with 170 million users worldwide – in just one year.
The naming system is no fun, though. Currently each user is identified by a long, uniquely-assigned numeric string such as https://google.com/113169713749496726739/posts.
But that’s all about to change according to San Francisco-based Google product manager Saurabh Sharma. “We’re introducing custom URL’s to make it even easier for people to find your profile on Google+”, he explains.
“Whether you’re a clothing brand showing off your latest fashions (google.com/+hugoboss), an athlete talking about the game (google.com/+davidbeckham), or an actor recalling a favorite role (google.com/+hughjackman), your Google+ profile helps you connect with the people who share your interests.” He continues, “For instance, +TOYOTA can now use google.com/+toyota to unveil their latest models, +Britney Spears can share her upcoming appearances at google.com/+britneyspears, +Ubisoft can share game trailers and videos at google.com/+assassinscreed, and +Delta can help travellers find great deals at google.com/+delta.”
What if you’re not David Beckham or the Toyota Corporation? You’ll just have to wait until Google+ extends the custom URL feature to regular citizens, as has other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Reaction to the upcoming change is largely positive, but no date has been announced.
The move also indicates the direction in which Google may be heading. Google CEO Larry Page recently stated, “Google+ is truly at the heart of our efforts to create our social spine. With over 120 Google+ integrations to date, we’re on the right track. Your user experience on Google just gets better.”
Look for the next generation of Google to integrate the personal with the global into its search and other capabilities. And if you belong to Google+, look for people to find you a whole lot faster.
Cam Levak, Raven5 Ltd., Toronto, August 2012