Computer programmer Zane Claes has created Start G+, a Google Chrome extension that adds useful features to the Google+ social network. It lets you easily import your photos from Facebook, as well as post to Facebook and Twitter within Google+. In short, it's designed to make the process of transitioning from Facebook and Twitter to Google+ as smooth as possible.
After installing, you won't notice anything different until you visit Google+: there should be a new Gmail notification icon, as well as small Facebook and Twitter buttons in the top right. You will of course need to sign in to Facebook and Twitter to "Post status updates & see your feed." There's also a drop down menu that includes the following three options: Completely Disable Facebook Features, Completely Disable Twitter Featues, and Turn Off Gmail Notifier.
That's not all. If you visit startgoogleplus.com after installing the extension, you can choose to import your photos from Facebook. The photo importer syncs photos from Facebook and displays the photos in a slideshow format as they are imported to allow you to monitor the progress.
Here are the extension's current listed features:
- Put your Facebook and Twitter streams inside your Google+ stream, complete with Stream links on the side, as well as rich media.
- Automatically post to Facebook and Twitter whenever you share something on Google+ (you can turn this on/off from within the share window in Google+).
- Add a Gmail inbox notifier to the top bar. Clicking on the Gmail icon shows a menu with unread messages that lets you access your emails directly inside Google+.
- Visit startgoogleplus.com to transfer or sync your photos from Facebook. If you don't have Google+, you'll be offered a Google+ invite.
Here are the extension's upcoming features:
- Nicknaming improvements: you can already get a nickname on the site, but soon you'll be able to use a very short and pretty URL: either sgplus.me/yourname or sgp.cm/yourname. Also, you'll be able to change your nicknames right within Google+.
- Tagging: Right now, when you tag someone in a post in Google+ and the Start G+ extension shares it to other social networks, you will not see the person's tag in that network. Soon the extension will use the nicknames to link to the Google Plus profile that was referenced.
- URL Shortening: Right now, when you post to Twitter through the extension, things get chopped off or aren't very pretty. The domain sgplus.in will soon be used for URL shortening. If the post is long, a shortened link will be added to the end of the Twitter post to link to the full post on Google+.
- New Settings Window: The settings popup is cluttered and confusing in the extension – there will soon be a separate settings page that looks good and makes things clearer.
- UI / Notification Improvements: There is already a Gmail Notifier built-in, and Growl-style notifications used for certain actions. A more complete notification system for not just Gmail but Facebook and Twitter too will be added, and it will be able to show Growl notifications and/or numeric icons above the favicon in the browser.
- Custom Streams: combine multiple circles to form a new stream. For example, a custom stream could be Friends+Family, where Friends and Family are each circles.
I don't think Facebook will like this extension very much, especially given the last two episodes we've seen this month. Facebook has already blocked the Chrome for exporting Facebook friends and the Open-Xchange contact exporter tool. I'd be surprised if Start G+ didn't follow suit very soon.
- Facebook removes Google+ ad
- Facebook blocks Open-Xchange contact exporter tool
- Open-Xchange offers Facebook contact exporter
- Facebook blocks Google Chrome extension for exporting friends
- Facebook engineers bring Google+ Circles to Facebook