Google’s new social tool Google Plus has barely been released for two weeks, but already it’s seeming like the feature most needed is an API. The most popular functionality of Google Plus, sharing content with one’s “circles,” is similar to what users are already doing on Twitter and Facebook. Perhaps the delay in releasing a Google Plus API is about forcing people to give Google’s interface a go?
Still, if Plus is to succeed, it needs to be integrated into other workflows. Users will want applications on every platform.
Google will know that creating a platform for developers to build on is a necessity for creating stickiness and building user participation in their new social venture. Obvious examples of where social networking APIs have helped the social networks are the huge success of casual social gaming on Facebook, and the boost to the early proliferation of Twitter enabled by 3rd party developers creating clients for a broad spectrum of user devices.
For now, Google has uploaded a form where prospective future developers can sign up to be notified of updates on the platform.
Google will eventually open up the Hangouts group video chat in Google+ to third parties, meaning anyone will be able to utilize Hangouts in their apps or services, according to Google Realtime Communications lead Justin Uberti.
Uberti says that Google “plans to publish the specifications needed to inter-operate with Hangouts,” though it will likely be some time before that actually happens. When the specs are eventually released, Hangouts will have yet another unique feature to lord over competitors like Skype.
Google+ has only been available for a week and there’s no Google+ API as of yet, so developers have been making do without, and this is the latest example.
A developer called Kosso has created a streaming video hack for Google+.
Kosso’s hack is called Plusbar and takes the form of a bookmarklet. Plusbar currently adds streaming media from Amazing Radio, DFH Radio, Grooveshark, BBC News and TWiT into a box above your Google+ stream.
One sign that Google+ has a bright future ahead of it is that developers are starting to hack together improvements to the service before an official API is available. One such example is Plusbar.
This enhancement to Google+ adds an audio and video media player to the top of your stream. At present, it offers Amazing Radio, DFH Radio, Grooveshark, BBC News and TWiT livestream options in a manner so neatly-presented that it looks like it was designed by Google as an integral part of the service.
Google's new social network, Google+, has only been public for two days, and developers are already interested in access to the service so they can roll out add-ons and improvements. Fortunately for them, and ultimately for Google+ users, developer access is coming. It's simply a matter of time. As Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social for Google, told me at a Web 2.0 Summit cocktail party tonight, "I'm a developer guy at the core. It is inconceivable I would build something without a platform."
Google Plus doesn't have a public API yet, nor has it announced when one will be available. But if you want to find out about future developer opportunities, Google has a mailing list you can sign-up for to receive more information in the future.
Developers are already clamoring for an API, which is a good sign for Google Plus. Mohamed Mansour commented "Would be nice if there was a Google+ API. I would have made a Buzz to Google+ importer today."
Google says it will eventually open up the group video chat in Google+ to third parties.
That means anyone will be able to utilize the group chat, called Hangouts, in their apps or services, according to Google Realtime Communications lead Justin Uberti.
Uberti says that Google “plans to publish the specifications needed to inter-operate with Hangouts,” though it will likely be some time before that actually happens. When the specs are eventually released, Hangouts will have yet another unique feature to lord over competitors like Skype, which Microsoft plans to acquire.
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Hangouts, the group video chat component of Google Plus that everyone’s been raving about, could eventually be usable with other video chat clients and services as well. Google Real-time Communications Tech Lead Justin Uberti wrote this weekend on his blog that the company plans to publish the specifications necessary to interoperate with Hangouts.
Opening up Hangouts could be a boon for developers of smaller third-party apps and possibly even kick-start the development of mobile clients (the feature is currently only usable from the desktop), but bigger competitors can’t be happy about this idea.
This module integrates with Google+, the recently launched social network built on the concept of social circles. There is no public API for Google+ yet, but you can sign up to be notified as it is released. Without an API, we are limited in what we can do, so the module currently just provides the following points of integration.
We’re only a few days into the era of Google Plus and already, folks want to add stuff to it, much like Facebook did with Farmville, and whatever other application you’d care to consider. While that may be the beginning of the end in regards to Google Plus updates being littered with “Such-and-such in your circle wants to give you a cow” or something similar, fear not, developers, because Google is well on their way towards releasing an API for their social platform. Once released, it will open Google Plus to the world of social media apps and other additions.
Google should act fast. When I say fast I mean a couple of things. First they should release an API (Application programming interface) that should give developers the option to build an application for Google Plus. This is the only way to attract more and more developers to enhance and enrich this online social platform.