Google+ wants to be your new Flickr

Google+ is succeeding in small bursts, feature by feature. As a social network competing with Facebook it’s a flop, but its video-chat tool Hangouts is a winner. Now photo sharing is poised to be the service’s next breakout hit, thanks to an enthusiastic community of photographers who like the focus on attractive full-size images, Google+’s new photo-centric iPhone app, and a uniquely Google passion for metadata.

Get funded on Google+: Silicon Valley VCs are holding hangouts

Google is trying really hard to get people interested in Google+’s group video-chat feature, Hangouts. The company has brought on celebrities, political figures, and is now trying to attract its own Silicon Valley neighbors to participate on the social network through “VC Office Hours.”

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Google+ gets a slate of new apps for Hangouts

Google is showing off some new Hangout-themed apps today. From play games and goofing around to getting serious work done, the apps use the Google+ social video tool to make the most of face-to-face, real-time interaction.

Google spent $70M on U.S. TV ads in 2011

A company that makes 96 percent of its revenue from advertising is becoming a massive media buyer itself — and in a far more traditional sense than one might at first anticipate.

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Facebook woos photographers with new lightbox viewer, launching end of week

Facebook is rolling out its new lightbox photo viewer feature to all 840 million users by the end of this week, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed to VentureBeat. The new display helps make photos more attractive by showing them larger, moving comments off to the side, and graying out the background to minimize distraction.