Google+ Takes Cue from Twitter: It Adds Real-Time Search and Hashtags
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
October 13 2011 04:51 PM ET
Vic Gundotra, Google VP Engineering
Google+ beefed up its in-network search feature this week, adding real-time search and hashtags. If you think that sounds a lot like Twitter, you’re right.
Once you’ve entered a search term, a link will appear at the top of the page that shows the number of new posts across the more-than-40-million-user network. (A user number confirmed by Google's CEO Larry Page in today's third quarter earning call.)
With these additions, Google+ has positioned itself for newshounds.
“This is especially useful for breaking news, sporting events, maybe your favorite TV show,” Vic Gundotra, VP of engineering at Google, said of the latest Google+ features. (Google is rolling out the features gradually to its users, so “don’t worry if you don’t see them right away,” Gundotra said.)
Here’s how it works:
Type in a search term in the box at the top of the page. If you’ve selected a subject that people are talking about, a new link appears above the top result showing how many new posts relate to your search term.
Once clicked, the link will activate a stream of posts as they are sent in. Hit the pause button to stop the stream, and click "play" to reveal the next batch.
Note that you can opt to see “everything,” including posts from users and from across the Web; “people” (it shows Google+ users that have the search term in their name, such as “Benjamin Apple,” and then adds them to your circles); "Google+ posts," and finally "Sparks," which is Google’s term for content from across the Web. Originally, Sparks was offered by Google+ as a sidebar feature, but it has been integrated into search.
Don’t forget to do your part in adding to Google+ search results. Mark hot topics with a hashtag – # – so they will be added to the instant search results. Hashtags can be applied only to single words. If your topic consists of two words or more, create a one-word hashtag like this: #AppleiPhone4s .