updated 12:45 am EDT, Thu October 20, 2011
Google Apps account integration imminent
Social networking service Google+ will be adding several much-requested new features by the end of the year, starting with the ability to integrate an existing Google Apps account into the service. Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra and Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin explained that the rapid growth of the service, now at 40 million, had exceeded expectations with regards to their feature-rollout timetable, but the company was catching up to users' demands.
The pair said that they thought they would have more time to integrate Google Apps accounts into the service, but that the fix would be live in "a matter of days," during their presentation earlier today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Gundotra described the growth of the service, which just went live in June and only dropped the invitation requirement last month, as having created "pleasant problems" for the company such as needing to roll out additional features sooner than planned.
Another such feature that Google is working on is a method of allowing pseudonyms, often called "handles" or nicknames, within the service. Although the service has acquired a large userbase, activity levels appear to be far below that of rivals Facebook and Twitter proportionally speaking, perhaps due in part to the unpopular and selectively-enforced "real names" policy the company has adopted for user identification.
While account holders on other services frequently use their own names, the policy of not allowing at least pseudonymous postings runs counter to the tradition of Internet culture and causes users to withhold postings they might otherwise share for fear of work or personal reprisals. The executives also announced that the company will eventually allow businesses and organizations to have "branded" pages on Google+, similar to Facebook's "Pages" feature. [photo via TechCrunch]