Google Profiles is getting a sweeping upgrade to look more social. Could this be the harbinger of Google+1? Perhaps, but it's certainly a step to be more Facebook-like.
has been quietly reworking its software products to become more social, has
redesigned Google Profiles to make it easier for users to add information about
lynchpin in Google's efforts to add social layers to its Web services, Google
Profiles allows users to add personal and professional information about
themselves, providing a way for users to present themselves on Google products
and across the Web.
Google accounts who choose to set up a Google Profile may add their names,
biographies, occupation details, contact information, links to other Web
services such as Google Buzz and Twitter, and much more data. Profiles users
understand that first name, last name and photos will be public and searchable
on Google.com and other search engines.
Google sees Profiles as a great way for users to share more info about
themselves with other Google users. This is key for Google to add a social
element and provide an alternative to the Facebook profiles that have proven so
successful in luring 600 million-plus users
Google is now
rolling out a refresh to make it easier for users to control their Profiles by
emphasizing info that's most important to users, and provide more
Manager Rick Klau, who moved to "socialize" YouTube after finishing
the Profiles overhaul, said
the "profile pic" is bigger; the About tab
is now the default tab; users may show five photo thumbnails that can be
enlarged by clicking on them; and users may prevent their Profile information
from being searchable online, a big deal for the privacy-minded.
make the service easier to manage and more palatable for users searching Google
Profiles. Blogger Louis Gray offers his take
on the upgrades.
Manager Greg Marra said
the update will be added automatically to
all Profile users. Marra encouraged users to update and add to their profile
when they see the new "Edit Profile" button.
Profiles upgrade going to play a big role in Google's rumored Google+1 social
efforts? Perhaps. Ideally, there will be a front-page portal that hooks into
the Profiles information, which users will continue to manage.
likely integrate Gmail and YouTube into this somehow to approximate some of the
media-sharing and messaging capabilities in Facebook.
interestingly, Google is working on providing Google Profiles for businesses
"to engage with their customers," Marra explained.
is that Google will offer Profiles expressly for businesses to create to
surface their information more easily online.