Planet Google

Google Gives Up On Forcing You to Sign Up for Google +

Google's own Google Plus page. (Google Plus)

Poor Google+. Designed to rival social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, it’s been trying to get us to like it for ages — to somehow care about dividing our friends into “circles,” or whatever. But now it might be starting to give up the fight.

Google has recently stopped requiring new Gmail users to sign up for Google+, the Telegraph reports, apparently because they realized that people find it intrusive. Read More

Social Networking

Kohort Has a Lot of Potential– And a Lot of Mark Peter Davis’ Friends

Mr. Davis (Photo:

Today, Kohort, the super-stealth social network for groups, emailed early adopters who had registered usernames and asked them to officially join the site. Last year, Betabeat told you that Kohort, founded by former venture capitalist Mark Peter Davis, netted $3 million from a number of high profile investors like IA Ventures, RRE, FF Capital, David Tisch and David Cohen. The supposed “Meetup killer” made its beta version public back in July.

The site is based around public and private groups. Kohort lets group members post to memos to the group, much like a bulletin board. These memos are supposed to help organize meetups and group activities. Original plans called for a way to put similar groups into networks, but that remains to be seen in this early version. Read More


Ding Dong, Google Places Is Dead; Meet Google+ Local Instead

Google+ Local (via screencap)

And so Google’s acquisition of Zagat finally bears fruit: Your parents’ favorite dining guide is now the backbone of Google+ Local, which is replacing Google Places. So SoMoLo.

Here’s the deal: Users can still write reviews. The integration with Zagat means those reviews will now be factored into the familiar score ranging from 1 to 30. Plus, expect some actual professionally written material thrown into the mix. (Imagine that.) The integration with Google+ means you’ll also see reviews written by anyone in your Circles. (The bad news is you’ll get the phantom ding from any unclosed Gchat conversations, which drives us batty.)  Read More


Google Fires Back at Facebook with Eastwood-Esque ‘Make My Day’ Punking


So, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg have been taking their show on the road with a lil’ press tour, in which they’re basically acting like Suge Knight and Tupac circa ’95 at the Source Awards, beefing with Google at every available chance (while pretending that this isn’t a war). WHO SHOT YA, GOOGLE? Mark Zuckerberg, that’s who. And so, of course, the Bad Boy Records-esque Google has volleyed back. Read More