Google+ Launches New App Sign-In

spn_exclusive1Google+ launched a new application sign-in process Feb. 26, pushing the social service ever closer to an actual foothold in the digital space.

Although several years behind their main competitors, Google+ aims to learn from Facebook and Twitter’s haste, taking more care in preventing “social spam,” and holding the user experience ever sacred.

David Glazer, engineering director at Google+, calls this “…one of the most significant launches that has come out of the Google+ platform.”

The new sign-in process embraces simplicity, and it appears to grant users a lot more control in determining who sees what they post. So while the feature is long overdue and sounds quiet useful and efficient, the question that needs to be asked is: will it be enough to propel the sputtering Google+ forward in the social stratosphere?

Keep it Simple

First and foremost, Google stays true to form and ensures the new sign-in process is intuitive and simple for end users and developers alike. Sample sign-in screens released thus far show a process that looks very similar to Facebook Connect. Since the web world is inundated with many offerings from the Google family, account information and passwords are well known. It’s therefore far easier to login to your Google account than it is to register from scratch on any given site, so from that perspective, the feature is a no-brainer.

Adding the functionality to existing sites also looks to be fairly straightforward (which is far more than Facebook can say when they rolled out their Connect feature some years ago.) Of course, once the new sign-in is live, developers can monitor usage stats through Google Analytics as well.

Advanced Mobile Integration and Security Features

Making life easier on your handheld device is also at the forefront of the rollout. Once you login to your Google+ account via any participating website, you can immediately launch and install the relevant Mobile application with a single click (or decline the option just as easily). It’s important to note that only Android phones offer this flexibility since Apple’s restrictions prohibit the process for their iOS devices.

Additionally, any shared activity within a site allows your viewers to click through and interact with the app themselves. This is an attempt to make feeds more functional to those who are perusing, and to give better targeted exposure to featured applications.

As with everything Google tackles, they’ve put a lot of thought into keeping things secure. Once you add an app to your Google+ sign-in, for example, you access a permissions screen that delineates the data you’re willing to share, and the people that will be able to view related activity. The same 2-step account verification process available in Gmail is also carried over, providing added security in a world where passwords are becoming easier and easier to hack. Finally, Google+ offers an apps permission page for users to manage any and all settings.

No More Social Spam!

Google is nothing if not methodical about their rollouts (a great excuse for why this latest update is so behind the curve), and their insistence on not littering the digital landscape with more useless updates, shares, images and feeds (now known as “social spam”) is noble indeed. Google insists the new sign-in process greatly limits a great deal of this digital waste. For example, users are now prompted to indicate who in their Google+ Circles can see various content, and app activity only appears in feeds when relevant – in other words, when a user is actually searching for related info.

A Genius Move, or Too Little Too Late?

Google’s main issue with their social network is not the lack of whiz-bang features or clumsy developer tools, it’s something much more elusive – eyeballs. While most netizens definitely appreciate Google+’s war on social spam (the backlash against Facebook’s questionable policies is ever-increasing), the hard truth is that Google’s social darling still does not have rich profile content or a gaggle of regular daily sign-ins. This means that while Circles may be somewhat populated, in theory, the activity by such users is minimal, especially when compared to Facebook and Twitter.

The issue of eyeballs, however, may be the very reason the new sign-in process proves a smashing success, if in fact it helps to increase Google+ activity. This will all come down to how many developers and sites actually feature the new process. Currently, there are a handful of early adopters: FitBit, TheFancy.com, Flixster.com, USA Today and the UK Guardian newspaper have all launched updated login screens with Google+ sign-in. Most sites also obviously offer Facebook and Twitter sign-ins too, so one can’t help but wonder – will users prefer the Google+ option over the other social giants? The answer is a very strong maybe, because while Google+ may not have the flurry of daily users, Google’s suite of offerings most certainly does.

While the verdict is still out regarding the success of the new sign-in, the truth is, Google has little to lose with this release. The worst case scenario is that developers don’t add the process to their sites and apps, and Google+ is left in its current quiet state – a seriously unlikely scenario. If it does help them gain traction, it’s game-on with the Facebook showdown.

Google+ already wins the war on security – they have far more respect in this arena then Twitter and Facebook combined. And while developers often voice impatience at their slow releases and limited access, there is an understandable method to their madness. The head of the social network, Vic Gundotra, wrote last August that he took responsibility for third-party developers’ limited Google+ write access, expressing, “I’ve repeatedly stated the reason – I’m not interested in screwing over developers. When we open an API, we want developers to feel confident that the innovations they build are going to be long lasting. Releasing an API, and then later changing the rules of the game, isn’t fun for anyone, especially developers who’ve spent their life’s energies building on the platform.”

Are they late to the party? Most definitely. But let’s not forget, the turtle won the race, and Google+ is anything but out.

Producer, game designer and freelance writer, Tina Courtney-Brown has been a bona fide web fiend since she discovered Poetry.com in 1994. Tina’s fortés include all aspects of online business, social media, marketing trends, alternative health, digital production and many more. She’s a passionate truth-teller, a sincere advocate for the environment, and an obsessive dessert creator. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook.

About the author


Tina Courtney

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile


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  • “Google+ already wins the war on security – they have far more respect in this arena then Twitter and Facebook combined.”

    I totally agreed cause I fought so many people and left Facebook cause of Lack of Privacy in concern, People always intermingle some stalking you there worthlessly.

    I am now safe on google+, blogging ans sharing my Posts automatically as soon as Posted them.

  • This is a really brave move on their part. Going through the current trends security has become the main feature which everyone focuses upon. So, providing these additional security features will definitely turn out to be vital.

  • Meh. this should have been launched years ago, really, I doubt it will get enough relevance to be a problem for the FB Login… However, author rank is out there and it could mark a difference. we will see.

  • Google quality is going to count at some point and they are not going away so it has to be a safe bet for SEO aficionados.

    As for being late to the party I am reminded of an old Chinese proverb. The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago. The next best time is now. (Its never too late)

    I have been meaning to sign up to Google+ for some time now I am off to do so now.

  • One of the battles for social networks is of course trying to offer it’s end users the solution to a need that is not already satisfied adequately by Facebook.

    Facebook is so embedded in most peoples daily habits, and the mass of users is so high, if it is going to fall behind then it won’t be for a few decades yet, and it would take a prolonged set of bad business decisions without correction for it to do so.

    The question on who is going to win the social media race is not about who has the best sign in functionality, it’s who offers the overall experience that’s closely matched to what the average user wants, and at the moment that appears to be Facebook.

    Until Google convince users that their social experience overall is worth forming a habit for, then Facebook will be the habit of choice.

    A sign in system is just an entry point, the engagement comes from what and who is inside…

  • Google + was little behind, but now they are catch up. They are important , and they will be, so this is move in good direction.

  • Google walks the fine line these days. Are they bullies or darlings? I like the biodiversity of today’s internet ocean. But are we at risk of one species taking over the entire place?

    They were once the new kids on the block, then the search darlings; then the “how did we ever get by without Google”; then the self- appointed righters of wrongs on the internet; the punishers of the evil and defiant; the wiper-outters of the competition; the “don’t try anything we don’t like or risk oblivion”; the “we are more powerful than GOD on the internet”…

    And then… The, “hey, wanna hang out on Google +”; the “we like to help you organize all your information and Favs ’cause we like you”…

    Are they the Sultans of Search? Yes they are. Do I still feel comfortable about what the future holds for us/me in the world dominated by “them”? No I do not.

    I make my living by helping people manage their content, reach local markets, and become more visible in search engines…or maybe it’s just search “engine” these days.

    What I really, really wish is that another search engine would come out-of-the-blue and pose a very real threat to the Big-G. Imagine that?…another search engine?

    I’m not so sure that I’m as delighted with their vision of the future as they are.

    I hope my suspicions are wrong. I always liked red, yellow, blue and green…they’re some of my favourtist colours.

  • Lets hope google finally starts competing with facebook but I think the next big thing is just on the horizon.

  • “Google is nothing if not methodical about their rollouts…” *Cough* Google Buzz *Cough*

  • Google is definitely a bit too late. It cannot wean away too many people from Facebook for the critical mass it must have. But should they try that or keep improving their platforms and do that fast? I think,
    Google must bring in some revolutionary features on G+ [irrespective of whether Facebook and Twitter have them or not] – features that give the users a new feel. Otherwise they’ll keep aping the others and remaining laggards. Where is the spirit that made them the search czar?

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  • All I can say is I’m glad it finally coming. I mean I completely understand re. the spamming issue and I do appreciate the quality of conversation on Google+ but as an online marketer this comes as a relief. I do like Google+ and have written about it beforehere. I feel like they are 100% definitely still in the running and I am very curious how this epic social media shootout will eventually turn out.

  • Just had to say what a great article this is, have been looking for this information all over the web and stumbled upon it here so thanks for taking the time.