Thursday 30 August 2012

Google+ introduces Birthday Reminders

Google+ users will now receive reminders of their friends' birthdays. Google's Irene Chung, in an official blog post, introduced this new Google+ feature yesterday. On the birthdays of friends and family listed in Google Circles, users will receive a notification. Then, users have the option of sharing a message, photo or a video with the birthday boy or girl. Chung writes further that on the user's birthday, the new feature would only remind those who the user wants to share his or her birthday with. For that to happen, users will have to update their Google+ birthday preferences. Importantly, the new feature is only available to those who use Google in the English language. The feature will be rolled out gradually to those using the service in other languages.

Facebook, another popular social networking site, already has birthday reminders, which can be spotted on the right hand side on a user's homepage. Users can quickly post birthday wishes on their friends' walls by typing them right where the notification is displayed.

Google+ Hangouts On Air that was introduced last year got a new feature recently. The Studio Mode attempts to make live Hangouts concerts sound more like they were being held offline, on-stage. In an official blog post, Google's Matthew Leske wrote that musicians could begin using the feature by first starting with Hangouts On Air, then clicking on Settings, and making the transition from Voice to Studio Mode.

Google+ Hangouts On Air allowed Hangouts to be broadcast by specific users for public viewing. The feature became quite popular with the musician community among other sections who used it as a platform to connect with their fans.

Recently, a new Google+ feature was introduced that aimed to give users more control over what they read and share on the social network. Google's Austin Chang wrote, "Last year we launched volume "sliders" to help you tune the posts in your main stream (, and since then we've extended this feature across Google+. Today we're excited to roll out three related improvements that give you even more control over what you read and share". The new feature comprises three related improvements. Chang writes that they now have a slider using which Google+ users receive notifications each time their family or friends post something. This can be done by moving the Google Circle's slider to the right. As sharing information with family and close friends is also about notable events such as getting engaged and securing a job, the new feature enables users to send an e-mail, ensuring that friends do not miss reading the update. To do so, users can check the 'Also send email' option.

The last of the changes for now is a feature that allows users to mute notifications. A feature especially useful in cases where although a user would not want to miss posts from a certain chatty Cathy (or Charles) in their circle, he or she does not wish to be notified each time they post. Notifications can be muted by clicking on 'Mute' either from notifications or their profile.

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