Google today announced a small but important new Google+-powered feature for Google News. While there are currently a plethora of startups that are trying to provide their users with personalized news experience based on what their friends are sharing and liking on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Google itself hasn’t made any real forays into this market. Now, however, Google News is making some tepid first steps in this direction by featuring “articles that your Gmail contacts and people in your Google+ circles have publicly +1’d” in Google' News’ Spotlight section.
It seems, the rumors of Google+’s death have been greatly exaggerated. According to new data from Hitwise, Google just recorded its 3rd biggest week since launch. Traffic is up 25% from last month and 5% from last week. Unsurprisingly, Google+’s best weeks with regard to overall visits came right after the site opened up its door to all users at the end of September.
Google just announced that Google+ now offers developers a way to get photos and videos out of Google+ and into their apps. As Google is slowly opening up the APIs for its new social network, it makes sense for the company to tackle photos and videos first. These, after all, are one of the backbones of Google+ (though I could do without the support for animated GIFs). Not only do its users get virtually unlimited space for their photos, but a number of professional photographers like Trey Radcliff and Thomas Hawk are using the new network to their fullest advantage.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.