Facebook thinks birthdays are really special, and I guess Google is thinking the same thing now. Much how birthdays work on Facebook, Google has now taken it’s turn in reminding Google+ users when a friends birthday is, or even if its just someone in their social network. What’s interesting though, is that the reminders will be appearing on Google.com instead of the Google+ social networking website. I guess in that sense, you could say that it’s not entirely like Facebook. But since Google is sort of like a platform service for the user, it’s no surprise that the notification will pop up on the Google homepage.
Google’s Irene Chung has explained today in a blog post on Google+ that the reminders will be appearing when Google+ users perform searches and include a link to the Google+ profile of the personal that is celebrating their special day. Here’s what Chung had to say:
Everyone deserves a little love on their birthday, so we’re making it easier for you and your friends to celebrate on Google. Starting today, you’ll see a reminder on Google.com when someone in your circles has a birthday! From there it’s easy to share a fun message, photo, or video with the birthday gal or guy.
When it’s your special day, we only remind the people you’ve chosen to share your birthday with. Update your Google+ birthday preferences to make sure you’re sharing with the right people: https://plus.google.com/up/birthday.
At first you’ll only see birthday reminders if you’re searching in English on Google.com. We’ll be rolling this feature out gradually over the next few days. Here’s to all the happy birthdays to come!
This new feature has emerged a bit late to the party after Facebook started doing this back in 2005. It doesn’t take up a whole lot of space, but is interesting that they did this right after throwing an advertisement on their homepage featuring the Nexus 7 tablet. It’s a rare instance where they advertise on the homepage, but it’s interesting that they’re taking up more space on the Google homepage right after this advertisement and all the complains from Google users.
The new feature isn’t really something to complain about, in fact, it’s rather cool that you can just look at who’s birthday it is today without having to go to Google+. Obviously it isn’t going to be a whole lot like Facebook’s Birthday notifications due to Google having tons of services built over one giant Google platform. While there may be similarities there, Google does it differently from my understanding. Let’s just hope that Facebook does not have the Birthday notification service patented with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).
One cool thing that users will be happy to know is that showing your birthday is optional (much like Facebook’s option to show it or not). I also that that people underage (like Facebook) are hidden from that service too. Not entirely sure though.