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Google+ Vanity URLs : Google+ Begins Rolling Out Vanity URLs

By Anita Li at Mashable.com

google plus 6001 Google+ Vanity URLs : Google+ Begins Rolling Out Vanity URLs

Google+ is introducing vanity URLs, allowing users to further customize their profile pages, the company announced Monday.

The vanity URLs are short, easy-to-remember web addresses that link directly to a member’s profile or page on Google+, according to a blog post by employee Saurabh Sharma.

The new addresses will be markedly different from their current format. Right now, each user is identified by a long, uniquely assigned number string that looks something like this:https://plus.google.com/107341475998486822497.

Sharma, a product manager at Google’s San Francisco office, says the personalized addresses will be “available to people and pages worldwide,” but did not specify an exact date.

5 Reasons Google+ Is Not A Facebook Killer

By Dave Davies at Search Engine Watch

 5 Reasons Google+ Is Not A Facebook Killer

For the past couple weeks, a select gathering of us (likely including many Search Engine Watch readers) have been playing with Google+. It’s an interesting social media experiment by Google, but it is likely to remain that. Another “almost ran” in the social media game; another Google property that just won’t quite make it. Here are five reasons why.

1. Usability

A huge problem Google will face here is that we all know how we use our social media tools and why.

Let’s look back to May 2010, when Facebook had the “audacity” to force a layout change on its users – a change that garnered 1.7 million protests and many more complaints (including one from yours truly). If people are this opposed to simply adjusting how they use a single social media site (and let’s be honest, the changes really weren’t that significant; no manual required), who’s going to want to learn an entirely new layout and way to communicate to do… the same things you can do on Facebook.

The overall layout of Google+ is similar to that of Facebook (coincidence?) but the subtle differences are going to be problematic in a world where you have the user’s attention for a whopping five seconds. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re gone.

Gmail and Google Contacts Get Google+ Integration

By Chris Crum at WebProNews

The “Google+ is Google” concept continues

As reported earlier, Google is merging YouTube friends with Address Book contacts. Now, the company has put out an announcement that it is integrating Contacts and Gmail with Google+.

Not only does this represent the continued merger among Google user-identifying products, it represents increased integration of Google+ into Gmail, which has been expected since Google+ first launched. It may not be the last integration we see between Google+ and Gmail, but it certainly illustrates the first major integration between the two, beyond the link in the navigation bar at the top of the screen.

Google+ users can grow their circles, filter emails and contacts by circles, keep contact info up to date automatically, and share photos to Google+ from Gmail and Contacts, Google says.

“Now when you open an email from someone on Google+, you can see the most recent post they’ve shared with you on the right-hand side of the conversation,” explains engineering director Mark Striebeck. “If they’re not in your circles yet, it’s easy to add them straight from Gmail.”

Facebook Status Update Character Limit Now Much Higher

By Chris Crum at WebProNews

Facebook announced that it is increasing the character limit on status updates. In a status update on theFacebook + Journalists page, the company wrote:

“In September, we increased the character limit on status updates to 5,000 characters. Today, we’re announcing that you can now write posts with more than 60,000 characters.”

They also shared the following graphic:

character limit status Facebook Status Update Character Limit Now Much Higher

The first thing this says to me is that Facebook recognizes the value of the blog-like posts that appear frequently on its new rival Google+. Quora, which has been popular among influencers, is also good for this kind of post. Facebook clearly doesn’t want these types of people, which include journalists and bloggers (hence the FB Page on which it was announced) to not think of Facebook as a good place to put these kinds of updates.

In fact, the company has been trying to become a more useful tool for journalists for a while now. The recent open graph announcements are strong indicator that the publishing side is working effectively. In April, Facebook launched the Journalists on Facebook Page and a journalist workshop program.