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Real-time search and improved hashtag support

Today we're rolling out two new features: 1) real-time search results; and 2) improved hashtag support. Together, we're trying to make it easier to follow and contribute to live events on Google+, including breaking news, sporting events, and many others.

Real-time search
Now when you search in Google+, you'll see a message about new posts the instant they're available. If you click on this message, or select "Most recent", then relevant posts will start appearing in real-time.

Improved hashtag support
People have long used hashtags to mark their posts with certain topics -- just ask our very own +Chris Messina, hashtag inventor. You don't have to use hashtags on Google+ (search works fine without them), but when you do, we'll automatically link to search results.

Check out the video to see both features in action, and let us know what you think in the comments! #googleplusupdate
Chuck Jackson's profile photoYu Jing T's profile photoAmy Long's profile photoRobert Best's profile photo
This is great. I really like the hashtag support. You guys are doing a great job over there!
Awesome. Real-time search will be great for following news events as they unfold... that's really the only value I find on Twitter still.
Now, this is a killer feature.
#That #Is #Awesome! I can't wait to try it out. +1, Google!
Nice, thanks.
+Vic Gundotra Regarding the real-time search feature, can you please bring that UI element to the stream, too?!
Cool. Please add Can't wait for search trends :-)
Can I expect some fun here on g+? This is getting really dull, trust me! Request y'll to share a circle of people who share something interesting other than photos and tech news. Like #shitmydaddysays or #damnrighttweets. Vic, I spammed your post to gain attention. Ah, I'm sorry if I'm being rude!
Thank you.. now please go buy and fix RIMM..
xxx yyy
Getting Google Apps customers into Google+ ... not even on the list ... mind boggling
you're not an engineer on google, you're the vice president and the best presnter I have ever seen! :D
When will a hashtag in a post become a link automatically?
Both changes have huge potential for improving discoverability.
That is mondo radical! Hashtags have been a glaring omission up to this point, very happy to see that support added. Keep up the good work, rad dudes...
perfect perfect better work with circles...something like Plus Minus extension...thank you...#ilovegoogle
The hashtag "#googleplusupdate" in your post doesn't appear to be an active link (yet)
I love the google+ search! I even searched something for my exam and found sooo helpfull things. U will not belive it until u try it. For me there is no reason to use an other social network. I know them all and for my interests there is nothing better. Be proud +Vic Gundotra =)
The #Hastag feature is really cool.
+Gennaro Tatarella you already can do private messages. Just +Name tag someone. As long as you don't share the post with any circles or make it public, only you and the other person will see it.
+Sebastiaan Janssen - they said these new features are rolling out gradually... not everyone will see the hashtag support right off the bat, apparently.
+Gennaro tatarella private msg is coming soon it was in the 2.0 app that was leaked for ICS 
Great new features. Thank you. I think this will go a long way towards fixing the noise problem that people have been talking about. Now you can really follow a topic from anyone who is sharing with you or publicly.
Horray for this! It's been absolutely depressing that these things haven't been available to date! #HASHTAGS
+Gennaro Tatarella - the facebook messages system is rubbish. I agree that more integration between GMail and G+ would be good, but I wouldn't want to see a whole separate "out of band" private messaging system. It would be redundant and just plain silly.
Chords (g+ chat feature like bbm) is coming soon 
Awesome features Vic, Hopefully the gradual implementation will be made available for me. Thanks for the hard work, to you and the Google + team.
Google+ should have where you can highlight a language a be able to translated it on the spot. Because some posts are in different languages.
Good additions, and a nice video! Vic sounds more like a product marketer to me than an engineer when I hear "thanks for making Google+ e v e r y s i n g l e d a y." Keep it up
This video tells me that Vic is interested in or already owns an Audi R8 Spyder :p
Wow! The Google plus team is actively listening and dutiful implementing users suggested changes. The trick here is to build a compelling product and watch it evolve into a massive platform. Albeit I think the thinking should be balanced - build out the platform as you develop the core product. You generate more momentum that way. Good luck to the G+ team and keep up the good work.
Good deal! Can't wait to see more as the shift to the Google Platform occurs.
+Elijah Manor +Gennaro Tatarella you can already send a private message to someone through the email link on their profile here on Google+ Just click their name to bring up their profile and under their pic it will give you "Send An Email" and it sends a message through the G+ pop up window to that person's email. And it is PRIVATE lol.

This is going to be nice functionality but I can already see a flood of people posting with multiple hashtags and spamming content. Those of us who won't abuse this feature will have fun with it and use it as a good tool to, as +Vic Gundotra said, search in real time. With twitter, you can tweet with only so many characters so the amount of hashtags are limited, thus they are more needed. Time will tell :)
I would like "Most recent" to be default, it's always the first thing I click after a search.
Hashtags on Google+ ? Such a good news ! I was waiting for it !
When are private messages coming ? :)
+Martin van Beurden yeah, either that or remember whether or not you used "most recent" for your previous search, and use it accordingly.
Nice features! And great video too, introducing this. These videos add just that little extra :)
+Gennaro Tatarella private messages already exist!!! just send a message to that person and no one besides you and that person will be able to see the post!
I think this IS the "universal social bus" every day it looks more like the original concept for the "enterprise service bus" of back in the day. Get all sorts of info from different sources and pluck them out with ongoing "filters/queries" also seems vaguely familiar concept to XMPP ...
You have a really good voice for explaining things.
What about realtime search in Google search?
Hashtags are unbelievably stupid. Inline metadata? What is this, 1980? Oh yeah, people in 1980 had already figured out that inline metadata was stupid.

Why not a separate topic tag field? That would be useful for feed filtering in many ways. Say someone posts about multiple topics, but I'm only interested in one; metadata would let me subscribe to just those posts. All hashtags do is make the posts uglier and harder to read.

Can someone help me understand the difference between doing a plain search for a keyword and doing a search for the hashtag of that same keyword? (Besides obvious difference of search results that are due to the syntax of adding the # in front of keyword). I am confused. I am #confused.
I think the hashtags are supposed to auto-embed a link to search for the hashtag in a post, but they seem to be not functioning.
+Jeremy Nixon Agreed, it's one of the reasons I don't use twitter.I prefer readability over brevity any day.
+Vic Gundotra That's all very good! But just be careful how you indicate 2 as you did early on in the video. Here in Britain the "two fingered salute" means um ... well to put it politely "Go Away" :) #whoops
Hashtags? Really? Why?
Those unrecognizable hashtags should stay on Twitter.
This ain't Twitter right?
You guys should add tagging like in your other systems instead of hashtags - like your other systems, like Picasa, have now that add tags separately and less obtrusively.
Love it or Hate it... #Hashtags Make G+ more interactive...
Cool, makes my life somewhat easier, wish I knew this before I started a blog ;)
Wow! +GJ Primus translation would be awesome. I have so many friends that are bilingual and have to post things twice in FB. Translation would be really unique! What a challenge to implement though.
+Gennaro Tatarella There are a couple of different ways to privately message someone as you see in the comments above. I absolutely detest FB private message. It is way too complicated. G+ is very simple and easy to use by comparison. The problem is that you really have to think about how to send a private message to figure out how to do it the first time. Most of my non-tech friends that I've pulled over to open an account couldn't figure it out without asking me. That doesn't mean G+ needs a huge glaring private message feature that goes over the top. It just means that the "how to private message" answer needs to be easier to find.
Hashtags? HASHTAGS?!?! Sigh. So much for hoping you guys would find a better way to do that than #SomeUglyHashtag
Are hashtags really useful for anything other than spam and/or for brands to track influenced activity?

I mean that as a serious question; I don't really see the point in them...
great improvement .. thank you .. and thanks #twitter.
Great video, Vic. Thanks for the update.
Really liking the real time search result for breaking news... :)
by the way, +Vic Gundotra , your speech is not that much impressive like other members of G+ team ! (kidding!)
Dann D
I would love to have apssion to put TV link on my google plus site or maby to watch some live tv

Thanks for the hashtags, +Vic Gundotra . They will make my life better, brigher and bolder! :o)
Keep up the excellent work vic this is excellent for search i can only imagine the possibilities in the future thanks again ian
I wish Google didn't refer to "the product," it kind of cheapens the experience for me. Call products by their name!

Nice features though, thanks +Vic Gundotra :)
Also +Vic Gundotra, for visual consistency, could you make the actual hash gray and non-clicable, in order to replicate the way the plus sign before a +mention looks and works?
I use HashTag with browsers CTRL+F, like a "Jump-To" feature :P
Can you search hashtags in comments? And when do we get search on iOS? Love the work guys, keep it up :-)
Two ideas:
1. Remove the # when it's linked. I #dont #like #reading #sentences #with #too #much #hashtags.
2. Make them ignorable. No link, no #'s if the option is checked.
I am assuming the hash tags are superseded by your privacy settings, meaning unless you are posting to public, the hash tags in your post won't be found by someone searching outside of the circle you posted to. Its a bit of a catch 22, if privacy > hash tags, then there aren't going to be a lot of hash tags that you find when searching for topics. Right???
+Vic Gundotra Nice updates. I think you should remove the hashtag symbol after the post has been made and just leave the word as a link. That way it is easier to read. People will start hash tagging many words and can make it difficult to read.
I think of this as a +Jeff Jarvis feature.
Well people you are thinking Twitter hashtags it doesn't have to be that way check out +David Prieto he has some great ideas
I also posted on hashtags and why they Can be beneficial to the G+ network.

# should be kept for recognition between link types
+ = person
# = hashtag (Search now but I had a idea to turn search into independent streams if they were made into hashtag mostly for looks but still looks are everything sometimes)
(no symbol) = link to a webpage.

That way brings up search and brings up his profile.
I love #Google+ more every day! Awesome people connections via circles!
+Justin Scott Also addressed the privacy thing by adding the "+#" unison which will make the hashtag supersede the privacy setting and make it public but only post it to that hashtag not to personal profile or the streams of people in your circles
OMG at last it's coming!! It was totally missing; during events like f8 or Apple keynote, twitter was the most powerful tool. Now G+ is in the place ^o^ +1 to these new features!!
I have the hashtags active on my user and work like charm. The one thing I'm worried is about spamming in comments. I would like to see those features on the droid app... I really miss search on my phone and hashtags have no sense without the search option. It would be also helpful to have the hability in search options to distinguish between a search for a general word or to retrieve results that uses a specific hashtag.

Thanks for your work and for keep asking up for our opinion and suggestions.
+Gennaro Tatarella Didn't you know, that there already are private messages? When you share with a circle, you can also share with a single person. Boom, private message on the way!
Vic, why isn't your lava lamp moving? Also, why isn't your parrot moving?
I just want one of the cool little android figures on your bookshelves!
+Vic Gundotra - Unfortunately, searching for #android still omits the hash tag. So it's not a hash tag. Instead, it's search markup. That's pretty weak.
Jay K
Hashtags aren't being linked for me... :(
Besides this new linking feature, I don't understand how the hashtag feature should work here. If I try to search for "#android", what I get is a list of posts mentioning "android", without the hash. What I really want though isn't a casual mention of the word, but posts which were deliberately tagged "#android".Am I missing something?
Ah, but can we narrow down the hashtags and only see people in our Circles who are using them? ;-) I ask because I know some people in writing circles who don't want to see absolutely everything posted by all the others, but do want to share specific topics with each other. But using a hashtag would get everything posted by everybody on that topic. So I'd love to see a hashtag/circle-choice combination somehow.
hashtags are great because sometimes I just want to "tag" or "mark" a post as something - without having to make the "word" a part of the post if it's not needed. It's also a great way to continue a conversation. Works on Twitter because people don't have to keep mentioning the context of the tweet when posting a 140 word tweet. The Hashtag tells you what it's all about! So please don't knock hashtags in favor of Search - they have very different functions. +Vic Gundotra
REAL TIME SEARCH! =D Cant wait for it to come back to Google search.
Fantastic addition, keep up the great work 
You probably are all over this:Google engineer on Google+ platform: 'Pathetic afterthought' | Technically Incorrect - CNET News -

How can we help? I really wish we could get some traction for Google+ in LatAm but it's very challenging. It'll be like trying to break into the Blackberry shares, at this point they are their worst enemy. I try encouraging my friends but most realize no one else is on Google+
A read & WRITE API.. please please.. pretty please!
Oh and it's awesome though that he isn't censored, but it makes you wonder if he's the only one feeling this way.
Awesome. Good to see Google focusing on features that makes it different. +Vic Gundotra I think the team need to focus on how to remove initial barrier - Circles creation and management is some work. I think people can get stuck at that stage.
+Vic Gundotra , is there a way to search ONLY your stream with real time results? That would be a great feature.
Feature Request: In case you've read this far, Vic, I hope you guys eventually provide a filtering mechanism based on hashtags, so for example I can tag my circles with hashtags and only posts from people in those circles with the specified hashtags will make it to my feed. For example, for people I've added to my Neuroscience circle, I don't need to hear about unrelated topics in public posts. I might miss a few gems that way, but G+ makes it so easy to subscribe to so many people that my feed can get quickly overwhelmed. Need a way to keep it focused, and building on hashtags looks like a good way to that.
Thank you for listening to your users and updating new features that fit the "users" needs. I am thoroughly enjoying my G+ experience.
thanks mr.Gundotra... i love google +
Man, I have discovered more things on G+ today than in the entire time I've been on here -- and I was on here when it was invite-only. THANKS!!
Very nice!, now anybody can broadcast news.
Great job. This will make it easier for people in my circles to keep up with my #starbreaker project, if they want to.
Ging De
Hey, is there a 'suggested users' feature yet? It seems like there is one on +Vic Gundotra's Google+ page at least.
Really hoping you bring Labels to G+. That way posters can catergorise their posts and readers can filter either positively or negatively for those labels.
A most welcome update. Thanks!!
+Vic Gundotra
The Hashtags will not work after you pressed enter <New Line>, its all about the new line see here:
#Test << will not work cuz there is a new line before this, but see here >> #Test << no new line = winning :)
Google Realtime Search lives on!!!
just put a space before the hashtag
Tim G.
Hope it works. Keep adding features so we can beat twitter. 
will the #hashtagactivation be #retroactive or going forward only? i've hashtagged like nobody's business early on in #plus's life.
+Daniel Alexander If you click on the hashtags you will see all the keywords from before, so its good to go for everything before now!
This is simply freaking awesome. Clearly Google engineering talent behind this!
It's a great feature, the hashtag is a good way to user create an dynamic category for your posts #g+
Nick H
Is there a way to bipass or turn off hashtags? Not only do I find them ugly and distracting but within the first few posts I read I already saw things that were not tags get interpreted as such because of the #

I suppose the easy way out would be an escape character but that's not very elegant or intuitive.
OK. But can we use the unappreciated and oft misspelled ampersand? Y'know, just to change things up. :)

Search for mobile? #googleplusupdatesformobile
Is it me, or does the combination of Vic and the chair and the pillow cover all the google colors? :D #spookybranding
awesome! #hashtags are heeeeere!
Would love to be able to add #hashtags to circles.
the twitter data/userbase and google+ UI would be an awesome combo
i think that is a great idea introducing hashtags on G+ because when the users created a hashtags, G+ help to the user start to create a trending topic. This is my opinion, that i understand how is working the hashtags on G+
+Karen Holmes Then it shall be called the Amptag or Ampertag, whichever you prefer.
+Michael Dopp What you're talking about is pretty much the same as Sparks
Great news +Vic Gundotra!!! Just one change I would like to see:

Separate results for searches with hashtags and without hastags

Example: If I search #winning it yields #winning and also just winning

I'd like to have an option to break it up or search for them separately so I can better search for topics. This helps find posts that are specifically tagged "#winning" and ignores all the other posts like "Here is my dog winning a race" etc.

I like that it does both, just which I had more control. winning should pull both #winning and winning results since it is inside of it, but #winning should only return posts that have the hastag #winning.

Anyone else's thoughts on this?
I noticed that hashtags do not work on the mobile platform. That's something that I'd like to see in the next update (I have the latest Android version).
Hi, does this also mean that the "realtime" search tab in Google will be back - with results from G+ instead of twitter, this time?
+Vic Gundotra Privacy settings on #Hashtag need clarification - especially after your video showing post to "Family" circle showing up in Global search. To me sounds kind of spooky...
+Adi Rabinovich Search for #privacytest - i limited this post to an empty circle. Does it show up in your results?
In my result list, there are only posts with public settings...
I guess, the post of Vic shows up, because he creates the circle...
How about adding regular chat so we can chat with our circles? Hangouts is so limited.
I think the G+ search, the real-time search, and the #hashtag support is awesome.
+Cindie Gilbert Cindie, chat is already there in the form of gtalk, are you looking for something different? Eg. adding circles support to Chat for easy multi-chat? Personally I'd like to see that.
Kind of annoying that #tag links open in the same tab unlike most hyperlinks in posts.
anyone knows the books on the shelf? pls
CS Chua
+Vic Gundotra looking forward for this to be available on the tablet G+ app. Tks.
Chan Li
#googleplus is so much #cool , #lol ,move on
techworld google with great Competition
Love the new features, thank you so much. Now if we could have the "most recent" and "best of" options in our regular streams, that would be awesome. I'm eagerly awaiting more updates and features.
Tim G.
Where can I find realtime results on google+ mobile web or app?
Hashtags suck. Please take them away... This isn't Twitter. Only morons use them. :/
Keep up with the good work, im love using #hashtags and i could not wait to really use this o/ #googlepluslove
Max Dau
Seems lovely!!
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Great, then you can allow a user to choose what kinds of messages to receive from a certain friend, by specifying desired or undesired hashtags.
This is epic! Basically realtime like #twitter! This is important for breaking news. Great work Google.
hey +Vic Gundotra love the hashtag to search link. not necessarily ground breaking, but an awesome feature! #awesome
Now this is y i love #G+. Will these features be accessible in the API?
Just one small adjustment to the search would make hashtags great to use... when I search for #hashtag I'm mostly interested in things tagged with #hashtag, so please rate down regular use of the word "hashtag" in text (or rate up exact matches including the leading #). But anyway, hashtags and realtime searches are great additions.
just would love that Google would allowed people from Iceland to download the Google+ app from Android market :(
Vic... just wondering if Google is going to take advantage of FLASH 11 and integrate a Sony PS3 like HOME, in a 3D Social Networking environment. Where we can have our own customizable Avatar right in Google+. Would be awesome P2P Power!!! ^_^
wow! awesome yr,evrythn s fin,it s vry usful to ppl,im also commtd;
Great stuff. I have noticed that this #hashtag works, but

Seems it needs a space before it on a new line
Leo G
I always believed that G+ would come up with a normal tagging system, one that you could add to your own individual post but would be transparent and invisible to readers. Truthfully, #hashtagsarebuttugly and #hashtagssuck. I truly believe that hashtags or way beneath this G+ project. :(
Vic, I'd like to put in a request for GMail type keywords. I'd love to be able to search using
To:"CircleName" topic
and get only those posts I posted to "CircleName" that referenced 'topic'. Or
From:"Person" topic
and get only those posts "Person" posted abuot 'topic'.
My #hashtags are not linkable? #why
Google plus brand pages or business pages #URG! Please
What a #win Google+ guys! Thanks! Keep the great features and improvements rolling in :)
You are making it better, and every single day. Great work guys and gals!
I love how he starts by saying I'm an engineering here at Google. That might be the biggest understatement ever lol. Great work +Vic Gundotra. I love how you guys are bringing the whole ecosystem together. I can't wait until all of the naysayers finally see the end result and it hits them... maybe Google does get it!
This is it! integrating all feeds, social networking site! pages, blogs, ets on +Google+ ! Thanks google for making our digital life easier!
Question for +Vic Gundotra and +Chris Messina I think a fundamental concern for people posting in G+ is to use hashtags to "point to" the subject(s) their discussing. Sure Google has fabulous algorithms for detecting relevance, BUT... if I write a post about how zebras often confuse the words "their" and "there" when they write in their blogs, and that scientists have found a DNA marker that pinpoints just why zebras and not horses have this spelling problem, then I, as the poster, want to have my post found PRIMARILY in searches for "zebras" and "dna" .... Not that other keywords would NOT be relevant, but I as the poster want to point to those two words to be found on. It works great in Twitter, what exactly am I missing?
great job, G+ teams, finds that useful
I would like to be able to add a hashtag to my tweets and have them posted to google plus.  That feature is available for FB using the #fb 'selective tweets' app.  Can google + get such a feature??
I find it very funny that the only clickable hashtag in this entire post is the #fb  one just before this comment :P

I wish the hashtags used in comments where immediately discoverable through search the way that the hashtags left in the original post are.

Also, it seems not using the hashtag symbol returns much better search results, which is sad. For example click this hashtag #CICWTest  but then remove the # in your search box and see how it returns a better set of search results for the original hashtag itself
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