When Google+ rolled out first we all knew it was about more than just a social network. Sooner or later it would be about integration of that social element into the search engine result pages (SERPS). Step by step we have seen that happening and we now know for sure Google+ is more than ‘just’ a social network.
The latest addition to this integration is one which shows how ‘social’ Google has gotten in the past few years. We all are familiar with the birthday reminders you get on Facebook, showing you which of your friends has a birthday. It does help me sometimes to remind me of birthdays I forgot. Now Google is integrating that same functionality. But not ‘just’ into Google+, into Google.com.
It means that when you go to Google.com, before you start searching you might see a name pop up in the top right corner of a person who has her or his birthday that day. As for example today our blogger Aleyda Solis has her birthday (happy birthday Aleyda). That will show up before I do my search (image above), but also when I’ve done my search:
Happy Birthday Aleyda!
You can then click a link and send the birthday boy or girl a message:
This functionality is at this point only available on Google.com. Google’s Irene Chung says about this:
“Everyone deserves a little love on their birthday, so we’re making it easier for you and your friends to celebrate on Google. Starting today, you’ll see a reminder on Google.com when someone in your circles has a birthday! From there it’s easy to share a fun message, photo, or video with the birthday gal or guy.
When it’s your special day, we only remind the people you’ve chosen to share your birthday with. Update your Google+ birthday preferences to make sure you’re sharing with the right people: https://plus.google.com/up/birthday “
I can hear you think: what’s the big deal? So Google is telling us when our friends’ birthdays are. We know that from Facebook and other social networks as well. Why is this news when it comes from Google?
There are two reasons why this is a ‘deal’ (ok, so maybe not a ‘big’ deal):
1. With this functionality Google is attracting yet more attention for Google+. It will mean a spike in usage, because everybody who is logged into Google will be seeing this. You might not use Google+ too much, if you have a Google account, you automatically have a Google+ account. Which means connections in your Google account are also connections in G+.
With this small feature Google makes Google+ yet again more visible and it will attract people to actually be using Google+ more, because it is personal. And it’s these kind of small things that will make the difference in the end.
2. Secondly, it is integrated within the SERPS. That will make it more visible to everyone and takes it ‘out’ of the social sphere. Slowly but surely Google is making their products more social and it is integrating everything overtime.