The Fast-Approaching Future of Google+

Joseph Smarr, a technical lead for Google+, has been fielding questions about the "social sharing" site since yesterday on AnyAsq (think AMA from Reddit). His answers give a behind-the-scenes look into where Google's latest hit product is headed.

Of course, some it is rehashing the Mountain View party line (Circles is going to change everything; Google+ is about bringing nuance to social sharing, etc) but a lot of it is quite insightful. For example, when asked how Google+ was run differently from other Google projects, Smarr said,

We put extra emphasis on engineering speed/agility—we try to release code updates on a daily basis while still keeping quality/stability/latency as high as you'd expect from google. This helps us move fast and respond quickly to user feedback.

With daily updates, you can bet that changes are going on at a quick clip. But don't expect anything drastic or without warning

I'm personally happy with the core circles/sharing/etc model, there's just a lot to do in terms of UI tweaks, making the stream and notifications smarter, improving new-user sign up, and so on.

As for all the features people are asking for, rest assured they are coming.

Personally I'm eager for many of the features other Google+ users have asked for recently: smarter ranking/collapsing/filtering in the stream and notifications… integration with more Google products… and an API so I can start hacking on cool uses of circles, etc.

Although he does not have an estimation as to when the API will arrive, you can sign up here to receive updates as they become available.

Other neat tidbits include the fact that Macintosh O.G. Andy Hertzfeld was already working on a prototype "next-generation contact manager" when Google approached him with this project, and that Smarr wants hashtag support as much as we do. So make it happen! [AnyAsq via GigaOm]


You can keep up with Michael Zhao, the author of this post, on Twitter.