Google Plus long enough to check on the status updates from your Facebook friends? Well, now you don't have to! A new Web browser extension called Google+Facebook inserts Facebook's social network right into your Google+ stream view, accessible through a new "Facebook" button at the top of the page.Can't get seem to get out of
Update: See bottom of post for new information.
Google+Facebook: I May Never Leave Google+ Again
The browser extension currently works only in Google's Chrome browser and Firefox, but the development team says they're working on adding Internet Explorer support soon. After a quick installation process, and authorizing the app's access to your Facebook data, you can begin Facebooking in Google Plus. How great is that?
Although fun, the extension does need some work, if we're being honest. Google+Facebook is pretty basic right now. All it does is display your News Feed within the Google Plus interface. But to like or comment on any item, you have to click the link "view this post on Facebook." There's also no access to other Facebook features like Games, Events, Profiles, Friend Requests or Photo Albums.
Still, it's a handy way to keep up with Facebook while you're obsessing over...err, testing...the new social networking service from Google.
Is it Safe from Shutdown?
The only question is, will Facebook allow this application to continue? The company has already shut down two previous attempts that allowed users to extract their friends' contact information for import into Google Plus. The first extension actually pulled complete contact information while the second pulled just first and last names, for matching purposes. It compared the extracted names with those stored in a user's Gmail contact list. Facebook says both of these extensions were violations of its Terms of Service, even though the latter didn't pull any information that wasn't already available in Facebook's own "Download Your Information" zip file.
The speed of the shutdowns seems to indicate that, on some fronts at least, Facebook does view Google Plus as a threat. But this new extension isn't going after your friends' info in the same way - it just pulls their updates, not their personal details. That makes it safe from shutdown as far as we can tell.
Now can someone build the same for Twitter?
Update: Commenters have pointed out there may be some security issues with the extension, as it asks for too much access to personal information. Details are on Reddit.com. It's unclear if this is due to shoddy coding or malicious intent, however. According to the developer's detailed response to these claims (also on Reddit), the accusations are unfounded. That said, proceed with caution, as always.