No conversation on Google+ starts or ends without a mention of Facebook. But while mentioning it, I will continue from here to say that Google+ has moved out of the shadows and is a viable social network for a lot of specific purposes. If you have been following my recent posts, you would have seen me take to Google’s favorite child with a camera in hand. Connecting with photographers on Google+ taught me a lot about its place in social media. Lately, I have been checking up on Google+ Hangouts for streaming conversations with interesting people.
The Google+ experience is growing on me. That’s why I really liked what the Chrome extension called Replies and More for Google+ [No Longer Available] brought to my social conversations. It is a recommended install from our Best Chrome Extensions page.
For Quick Replies: Adds Reply Buttons to Google+ Comments
This is the primary feature Replies and More for Google+ bestows on your conversation threads. But there are a lot of other enhancements which add to your Google+ experience. Let’s tackle the main feature first.
This is how a “normal’ Google+ update looks:
And this is the Reply-To-Author button you get after installing the Chrome extension:
You can see the Reply to author link on the right side of the comment box. With one click you can easily and directly reply anyone in the thread of the conversation. There is the manual way of course, by appending your comment with a + and the message author’s name i.e. you can reply to a friend’s message with “+name”, like “+JohnSmith”. It is very similar to Facebook’s. Replies and More for Google+ makes it just that bit easier with a single click and saves you a few seconds in the process. If you are a heavy Google+ user, these seconds do really add up when you are trying to reply to a friend or a contact.
Thee extension not only helps you with replying to the author of the thread, but you can reply to anyone who has commented on it with a single click on the tiny Reply link as shown in the screenshot below. Just hover your mouse next to the commentator’s name and the Reply link is made visible.
The Other Features That Help To Enhance Google+
Let’s take a quick look at what the ‘More’ in Replies and More for Google+ gives us.
Power users on Google+ (or those in favor of keyboard shortcuts) will like the quick press of SHIFT + Enter or CTRL + Enter to submit comments and replies. On Facebook, I often find that an unconscious press on Enter submits a comment which I hadn’t really finished typing. Here, the Shift key helps prevent that while giving me the quick convenience of a keyboard shortcut. Don’t like the chatter? Use the M key to mute a post.
Unread Message Count on the Favicon
The unread message count on the Google+ favicon give you some visual feedback on the catching up you need to do. It is not really that useful because Google has its nice red counter going right next to your name on the top-right which is perhaps more in-your-face.
Share on Twitter, Facebook or Email
The cross-posting feature is a real help I think. You don’t really need to depend on any other extension to do that for you as you can directly do it from the little dropdown. A before-and-after screen should better illustrate the feature…
This is how the default comment box looks before the extension is installed. You can only share a post with your Google+ circles and friends.
After the installation, you get a little dropdown which gives you three more options.
This part of the extension was slightly buggy for me and that’s the reason, I didn’t give it top billing for the “Other features”. The share button posts just fine to Facebook. With Twitter, you have to do a bit of work on the final tweet and compose it again as the extension cuts off (obviously) the content of the Google+ message. The email link unfortunately didn’t bring up anything for me…not my default email client nor Gmail. I assumed it would open a Gmail compose window of the account I am signed into.
Desktop Notifications and Chime
The Options for the extension reveal a few more settings you can enable. If you can flow with the distractions of constant updates (or are expecting an important one), enable the desktop notifications and chime sound on new notifications. You can set the volume too.
Replies and More for Google+ is an uncomplicated Chrome extension. It gives you a few critical bells and whistles which help to enhance your Google+ social schmoozing experience in the long run. In the last six days that I have tried the extension, I can say I have come to appreciate the intangible benefits of quicker and more directed replies. Are you on Google+? If you aren’t, try it out with our free Google+ Guide. But if you are already here and commenting away to glory, then try out this Chrome extension and tell us you likeness for it.