By now, few of us doubt what a fantastic resource Google+ can be. There is one area, though, in which it is sorely lacking- the ability to do something with great posts.
Twitter, conversely, excels at this. Because of its rich API (forgetting, for the moment, the recent controversy surrounding it), we can send our tweets to various services, either to act upon later, or simply to create a collection of our favorite web things. Gimmebar and Pinboard, for example, have built-in Twitter support, and can pull your tweets into their respective services for safekeeping. Via the power of IFTTT, other services can provide this functionality as well.
That leaves Google+ at a disadvantage. The ability to +1 a post is great, but what then? Other than personalizing your future searches, heavily weighing the items you +1 over other, ‘traditional’ items, little can be done with your +1s.
Once you install the extension, the options page will open. The first is the ability to synchronize your favorite posts across machines, meaning that when you favorite a post on your desktop, it’ll do the same on your laptop. This is done via a synchronization code, and is pretty painless to set up.
The next option allows you to choose which buttons to display next to each G+ post: a star button to add the item to your favorites, and an Instapaper icon to send the post directly to your Instapaper queue.
Favoriting a post will add it to your favorites, accessible via an added icon on the left-most menu. These are the posts that will be synchronized via the extension’s built-in synchronization service.
Adding a post to Instapaper can be done one of two ways: either the post itself can be saved, or, if you enable the ‘intelligent mode,’ the extension will look for a link inside the post, and if one is attached, it will send only that link to Instapaper.
Now, if you use Instapaper for your read-it-later needs, no further steps are needed.
If, like me, you use something else, enter IFTTT. Since I use Readability, I can simply set up an IFTTT recipe to send all of my Instapaper items to Readability, using Instapaper as a sort of middle man.
I haven’t done that, though, because not every post I favorite is an article. Sometimes, it’s merely something I want to check out later. That being the case, I send all of my Instapaper items to Pinboard, then, from Pinboard, decide what to do with something later. Of course, you could also do this for Evernote, Zootool, or any other bookmarking service that IFTTT supports.
Sometimes, Google+ seems to exist in a vacuum, in that very little outside services can interact with G+ itself. This extension changes that, and makes G+ all the more useful.
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