Having fun with any new kind of social media like Google+ means you get to make it your own, and playing with the different plugins available can help you do just that.
But where to begin?
I wanted to share a list of the most used plugins for Google+. Some of their features overlap, but they each offer a unique way to help make your Google+ experience all your own.
These are some of my favorite Google+ plugins for Chrome.
This is one of the most popular Google+ plugins for a reason, and I love it because it adds so much functionality to the platform. You can receive desktop notifications about new posts, translate those written in a foreign language, and bookmark posts for later.
That isn’t all, though, the Helper for Google+ plugin makes it easier to search from your omnibar or on the page (from your profile or even posts!), and allows you to search by hashtag as well. (Have you tried using Hashtags with your Google+ experience yet? I’d love to hear about it!)
This is another plugin that allows you to receive notifications, but this one is a little different because it’s one of the first I’ve seen that allows you to easily authenticate different accounts for posting. If you regularly post for others, this would be a great extension for you.
I’ve found that, while popular, I haven’t had to use this plugin as much because so many others now duplicate the same functionality. Except for the great ability to use multiple accounts.
3. Share+ Social Buttons for Google Plus – Share Across the Web!
Do you like to share posts to lots of different social platforms? This might be a great plugin for you if you regularly Digg, Stumble, and otherwise share your posting genius with others. I don’t use this one as much anymore, because I have a new favorite that shares to the different social sites I use the most. I’m including this because others find it so popular, but watch for my next article to share my favorite new plugin for Google+ sharing.
Share+ adds a link below your posts so you can share to your different social media sites, just remember that those who click have to be Google+ users, and the post should be shared publicly, so that anyone else who is curious and clicks will see your post.
Do you love looking at all the sharing in your stream, but wish you could actually see, well, the sharing? This nifty plugin collapses your stream so that you can see at a glance all the different posts, by the first line of their post and the name of who shared it, in a neatly displayed list.
Click on the top of any post to expand it, or hover over it to expand it in a popup, which you can also reply in.
This is one Google+ plugin that actually makes Google+ easier to use, and I love it for that reason alone. It helps me see at a glance if there are new replies on individual posts, which is also handy if you want to follow which posts are gaining in popularity.
This is one Google+ plugin I use every day without even thinking about it. The plugin adds the ability to “reply to author” so that you can reply directly to the author of the post. You can also click on “reply” and reply to someone else who might have replied to the post. The plugin adds the “+[username]” that will address the user you are replying to.
This handy plugin does more, though. It adds the ability to share to Twitter/Facebook/Email and lets you hit “Ctrl+Enter” and “Shift+Enter” to comment or post! And it adds the number of your new messages to the favicon so that if you navigate away from Google+ you can see at a glance if you have new messages (assuming you ignore those handy popups or have them turned off).
I couldn’t resist adding in an extra. Consider this a bonus plugin. This is a simple one, though, and makes a difference in the appearance of your stream. Usability Boost adds more space between posts and comments. It makes it easier to mute those noisy posts as well, and keeps your notification bar fixed at the top of the screen so it moves as you scroll down.
It’s a small but mighty plugin, and I love it!
I saved my favorite Google+ plugin for a post of its own, because it has quickly become my most-used and ‘Can’t-do-without’ plugin. Here’s a hint, though, it literally makes publishing across the major platforms a breeze!
Which Google+ plugins are your favorites? Do you have one Google+ plugin you wouldn’t give up? Please share in the comments section below.