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Google Plus may not be much of a competitor to Facebook as a social network, but it is central to Google’s future — a lens that allows the company to peer more broadly into people’s digital life, and to gather an ever-richer trove of the personal information that advertisers covet. Some analysts even say that Google understands more about people’s social activity than Facebook does.

The Plus in Google Plus? It’s Mostly for Google” via The New York Times.

I am mostly pleased (although sometimes caught off guard) whenever Google’s services help me out in a way I didn’t expect. My favorite scenario is a simple one: when I map an address on my Mac at work, and then 15 minutes after leaving the office I pull out Google Maps on my phone when I (inevitably) get lost getting to my destination. One tap in the search field and it pre-populates with the last search destination from my desktop, saving me a step. Again, nothing revolutionary but very helpful. 

As a technologist and someone who wants to understand and make the most use of anything I sign up for, Google+ frustrates me because I don’t feel like I use it at all. This article is a good reminder that although many of us feel that way, G+ is becoming the key to Google’s service fabric and will likely have a big impact on the way you use their services (if it hasn’t already).