A Sneak Peak: Google+ Resources for Web Developers
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Google+, or Google Plus as some are printing it, is the latest social network to take the spotlight. It went live, in what Google is calling a Field Trial, last week, and many people who managed to get invites, or who signed up by requesting additional information, joined the site to see what it was about. Google+ went from 4 million users at the beginning of the week, to over 10 million users by the end of the week. Although that's a far cry from Facebook's 800 million strong user base, it's still amazing for the first week of a social network that's not even officially open for business.
While Google+ already has a large user base, what it doesn't have is an official API. That hasn't stopped some developers from creating APIs for the network, nor has it slowed the websites, services and applications from being released that access Google+ and its data. In this article we'll show you a few Google+ resources that you may not be aware of, and tell you about some unofficial APIs.
Google+ Known Issues
If you've started using Google+, you may have noticed some quirks and issues with the site--which is to be expected for a site that's not yet open for business (at least officially). Before you write a blog about a particular problem, or complain to Google, you may want to check out the list of Google+ Known Issues, which describes the majority of the problems you may encounter.
The Google+ Project Forum
Once you've looked through the list of known issues, if you haven't spotted your particular problem, or if you want to ask a question about a specific feature of Google+, you should check out the Google+ Project Forum, which is broken down into subsections for each of the major aspects of the site, including:
- Getting Started
- Google+ Bar
It seems that the majority of the forums are full of questions from people about various issues they are having with the site, suggestions for new features and thoughts about how to improve current features. What's great is that Google developers actually respond to those suggestions, and are using the forums as a way to improve the site, literally letting the site's users actively participate in the creation of the site itself. Viewing the forums is a great way to find out about upcoming features and functionality.
Developers love website analytics and statistics. Since Google+ is a new social network, there aren't many statistics to work with yet. Google+ Statistics is one of the first sites to provide any statistics from Google+, and actively showcases the top 100 users on the site (based on the number of followers a user has). Currently Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook is in the lead, with Larry Page in second. Google+ Statistics also provides a Google+ people search, a popular posts section, as well as a way to track your own Google+ statistics.
Unofficial Google+ APIs
There is no official Google+ API yet, and Google may pull the plug on the functionality provided by these unofficial APIs, but that hasn't stopped some developers from creating them, or others from using those APIs and services. Here are a few you can check out now:
Additional Google+ Resources
Google+ is a new social networking site, but the resources surrounding it are growing quickly. Here are a few other resources you may be interested in. If you know of others, please leave a comment using the form below.