Astounding Psy

PSYWhen it looked like it would exceed one billion views on YouTube by the summer of 2012, Korean singer Psy’s Gangnam Style headed into the record books for the sheer number of people who have watched the video and heard the music.

Today, it’s become the most watched video on YouTube of all time.

Now, says YouTube, it exceeds two billion views and, as a result, Google has devoted more servers to handle the traffic.

Reshared post from YouTube on Google+:

We never thought a video would be watched in numbers greater than a 32-bit integer (=2,147,483,647 views), but that was before we met PSY. “Gangnam Style” has been viewed so many times we have to upgrade!

Hover over the counter in PSY’s video to see a little math magic and stay tuned for bigger and bigger numbers on YouTube.

Why not add your view to the counter. Even if you’ve already watched it, it’s catchy!

More possibilities with extended-time live video from Google+

Live Hangouts On Air

Wow – now you can do a Google Hangout On Air (a live video broadcast) for up to 8 hours!

That’s a huge amount of additional time from the previous 1-hour-maximum you had. And remember: up to 8 hours means just that – you don’t have to do 8 whole hours.

Oh what possibilities! Here are just 4:

  1. A live idea-a-thon to flesh out thinking and ideas for brand engagement via live participation with brand owners, customers and fans on the social web.
  2. Live segments over a set period with different people talking about different aspects of a topic.
  3. Live broadcast everything in a one-day conference or other event.
  4. Be very creative and experiment with your movie idea via “live TV over the web”.

Plus you get a recording of everything you do that gets published on your YouTube channel, and which you can edit.

How can you see opportunities?

Reshared post from +Tom Batkin

8 hours Rolled out!

You will see a Notification box above the start broadcast button in the green room

Hopefully you will not look as serious as I do in this selfie…..Note to self , smile next time

Big thanks to +Dawn R Nocera for letting me know where the notification was located

#hangouts   #hangoutsonair   #TheYearOfThePlus

cc +Ronnie Bincer ?

(Via Krishna De)

Think of the new Gmail/Google+ features as part of the identity jigsaw

Gmail and Google+

Last week, Google announced the addition of an interesting new feature to Gmail – the ability for people you know on Google+ to email you even if they don’t have your email address. And vice-versa.

I first heard about it through seeing posts and reports galore about “how to disable Google’s new Gmail feature,” clearly suggesting that an awful lot of people see this as something really bad and to be avoided.

In fact, I’m ok with the idea as explained by Google, that enables anyone in my circles on Google+ being able to send me an email just by typing my name and using the result offered by Google.

And crucially, says Google…

[…] Your email address isn’t visible to a Google+ connection unless you send that person an email, and likewise, that person’s email address isn’t visible to you unless they send you an email.

I’m quite happy with that.

Interestingly, there’s an aspect of this that is much more significant than the simple matter of exchanging emails with people you’re connected to on Google+.

In a post yesterday at re/code, guest writer Hunter Walk has an intriguing idea:

Here’s what I think the integration of Gmail and G+ messaging is really about: Making communications about people and permissions, rather than possession of contact info.

I like this future-thinking as he expands on that idea:

[…] Current generations of kids aren’t going to have to worry about knowing your phone number or email or street address. They’ll be able to press your name or picture, and depending on the app or need, will initiate a text, call, delivery, whatever. Twitter has been experimenting with various DM permissioning. And why do you think Snapchat’s user base didn’t care much when phone numbers leaked? Because the phone number is the least personal data on a phone, compared to your text messages, photos or other app data.

My bet is that a year from now, G+ will be much more about communications, with content sharing as part of the interaction, rather than a social stream. If you were building Gmail and G+ from scratch today, they’d be the same product. And that’s the logic behind the messaging permission changes.

Project that out further and think about this as one potential element in identity verification. Not just your G+ profile or Gmail address, but the whole concept of verifying “name + picture = you” via rich sources of information in trusted databases.

It brings to my mind something that already happened to someone last month where his Facebook profile was accepted by the TSA in the US as validation of identity.

This is a big canvas that paints a huge picture that is one piece of the digital jigsaw that is identity and verifying it, balancing privacy and a lot more.

Lots to figure out.

Getting personal with a custom Google+ address

Google+Ever since Google introduced Google+ in 2011, a big frustration for many users of the embryonic social network was letting people know where to find them.

That means a web address or URL: something you can let people know about so that it’s easy for them to find you on Google+.

Except that it wasn’t easy when your Google+ address was something like

That happens to be my Google+ address. Hardly memorable, is it?

Now, though, it really is easy. Yesterday, Google announced the beginning of a roll-out of friendly web addresses – what some are calling ‘vanity URLs’ – to everyone in Google+.

So instead of, you’ll get something like


Much better!

Look out for an email from Google to let you know that a custom URL (as Google describes it) is available to you:

You’re now eligible for a unique Google+ custom URL that lets you easily point folks to your profile (no more long URLs!).

Or go straight to your Google+ profile: if you see a banner at the top saying “Your page is preapproved for the custom URL…”, you can claim it.

It’s worth checking Google’s terms of use for custom URLs. We tend not to read small print online these days, but these t&c include an interesting paragraph:

Custom URLs are free for now, but we may start charging a fee for them. However, we will tell you before we start charging and give you the choice to stop participating first.

Worth noting for the future especially if you plan to devote time and resourcing into developing a major presence on Google+ where the custom URL becomes a significant element in that presence.

What if you haven’t yet received a note from Google or you simply don’t want to go down Google’s route with a custom address?

You do have some other options.

You could use a free redirection service such as which began soon after Google+ did, and proved to be very popular.

Or, follow the steps suggested by Nick Erwin involving setting up a sub-domain of your own that redirects to your G+ address. I did that and have had which still does the job.

Whatever route you choose, you can now have a far more personal presence on Google+.

Additional reading: In an announcement on Tuesday about additional features in Google+ Hangouts and Photos, Vic Gundotra, Google’s Senior Vice President and the man in charge of Google+, had this to say about the growth of Google+:

…With 540 million people active across Google each month, 300 million people active in just the stream and more than 1.5 billion photos uploaded every week, the Google+ community is growing faster than we ever could have imagined.

Related posts:

The difference between America and Europe

Reshared post from The Economist:

Today’s #Dailychart shows how entrepreneurship differs wildly among countries. America is an engine of innovation, as attested by the upcoming public listing of Twitter, which aims to fetch a cool $1 billion. How do other countries rank in terms of entrepreneurship? Sadly, not so well

New entrepreneurs

Many of my American friends have a “Yes you can!” approach to things.

I compare that to many of my European friends who are more about “No you’d better not!” Those two different ways of thinking colour judgements. It’s probably only in the US where a mindset of “Always make new mistakes” (courtesy of Esther Dyson) is so easy to grasp instead of “One mistake and let’s now stop.”

Different attitudes and mindset. Maybe that’s what this is about.

Post imported by Google+Blog for WordPress.

Related post:

The over-arching strategy for Google+


One of the characteristics of any conversation about Google+ is a view that not many people actually use it – mostly the “users” versus “active users” argument – and how it will fail as it’s not like Facebook or Twitter as a social network.

Speaking as an “active user” since Google field trialled Google+ in mid 2011, I’d agree with that latter point – it isn’t like Facebook or Twitter.

Don’t take my word for it, though – hear what a voice of Google has to say on the matter.

The Drum reports on Google UK’s head of agency sales, Matt Bush, speaking at an event during Social Media Week London this week:

We don’t want to be another Facebook or Twitter, which is why we haven’t really been bothered about trying to tell that story too radically because we can see that the numbers are going up, and engagement is going up.

Critically, we are not a platform that is about connecting you with your friends. That’s not necessarily what we are trying to add.

What it is about is trying to offer people the information they want at the right time and searching for information or people that you care about or take information from, when you want it most. That’s the overarching strategy.

According to The Drum, Bush also said:

[…] the next set of user figures released for Google+ will “blow your mind”, although he admitted that the platform still “had work to do”.

Some credible-looking metrics about Google+ were published earlier this week, suggesting Google+ now has more than 1 billion users. No satisfaction yet for the critics, though, on a breakdown of “users” vs “active users.”

Stay tuned for the official word.

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