Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) hasn't been shy about integrating Google+ with some of its key Web services. Since its launch to limited field testing June 28, Google+ has integrated with Google.com search, YouTube and Gmail.
Now the company has added Google Maps to that storied short list.
The search engine provider is letting users share Google Maps they find interesting, or even directions on the online mapping service.
Users can call up a Google Map, or search for directions they require, then just click the share button in their Google+ toolbar to blast out the content to their Circles on Google+. The shared Maps automatically includes a link, an image and a description in the sharebox on Google+.
As Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product management for Google+, put it in a blog post, "whatever you see on Maps is what you'll see in the sharebox."
The tool leverages the Google+ snippets that enable users to visit a Web page and then share it on Google+. Snippets now works for Google Books, Google Offers and Google Product Search, allowing users of those services to broadcast content they favor to their Circles.
Horowitz promised to roll out Google+ snippets to many more Google products in the future. It's not hard to doubt this. Google has a ton of products with which to integrate Google+ and make them more social. The company has already started with the big ones.
For example, Google+ posts are indexed on Google.com search. Google+ Hangouts video conferencing sessions may be triggered from YouTube. And Google+ posts also now appear in users' Gmail people widget.
In other Google+ social news, the company is allowing its Google Sites Web publishers to add the +1 sharing button to any Web page they desire. Publishers will choose the +1 button from the Insert menu, or add it to their Website's sidebar and have it appear on every page.
"Adding the +1 button to your site will allow your visitors to recommend it to their friends and contacts, which helps more people discover it via their personalized search results," explained Google software engineer Michael Verrilli.
Finally, and this is a big step to help Google+ compete with Facebook outside the confines of the social network, Google launched the first of the Google+ API, which focuses on public data only. Google wants developers to begin building apps with it.