Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Google+ Will Allow Pseudonyms, Support Google Apps Users, Launch Platform. When? Soon.

Google+ will soon accommodate pseudonyms, said Google+ head Vic Gundotra, acknowledging one of the loudest criticisms of the new social network. “It’s complicated to get this right,” Gundotra said, begging for a little time to figure out a way to use nicknames and handles without dramatically “changing the atmosphere” of Google’s new social network.

As for fixes to other big complaints about Google+? They’re all in the works, Gundotra said, asking for patience like his colleague Bradley Horowitz did last week.

Support for Google Apps users is coming “in a matter of days,” Gundotra said. When will tools for brands be available? “It’s a little bit longer than days,” he said in an interview today at the Web 2.0 Summit.

As for a developer platform? That’s on the way, perhaps at Google’s I/O developer event next spring. “We don’t want to do anything haphazard” to change the platform after developers come to depend on it, Gundotra said, in a thinly veiled dig at Facebook and Twitter.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin appeared onstage alongside Gundotra, where he said Google+ has been “instantly compelling” for him, with its Circles model a better fit for his preferred ways of sharing.

Brin said he was initially skeptical of Circles being “too complicated” and tried to argue against them in internal discussions, but now he loves them and personally uses dozens of them.

Gundotra was pointed in his critique of Facebook’s new frictionless open graph, which shares users’ activities automatically. “We do not believe in oversharing,” he said. “We have a different philosophy; we think curating matters.”

“From a philosophical standpoint, there is a reason why every thought in your head does not come out of your mouth,” he said.

What about that leaked memo, in which Google engineer Steve Yegge accidentally publicly complained that Google+ should have been a platform at launch before it was a product?

“I would be lying to you if I told you that wasn’t a bad day,” Gundotra said. But he said the memo was a rare representative glance at Google’s internal culture, which is brutally honest.

Brin, meanwhile, was dismissive of Yegge’s memo. “I didn’t make it past the first 1,000 pages myself,” he said.

As for the critique that Google+ must compete with Facebook’s overwhelming network effects, Gundotra argued that so many Internet users already use Google for other reasons, they will eventually find their way to Google+.

As for whether the 40 million-plus people who have signed up for Google+ are actually using it, Gundotra repeated a stat from last week that 3.4 billion photos have been uploaded to the service since it launched.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus