Skip to Content
Uncategorized

The Ripple Effect of Your Social Circle

See how your updates spread across Google+ with its new visualization tool.
November 7, 2011

In case you haven’t spotted it yet, Ripples is a rather nifty visualization created by the world’s most popular search engine (and plucky social-networking challenger) for its fledgling network, Google+.

Ripples reveals how an update has spread across Google+, from one user to many others, as it is shared, commented on and so forth. The image above shows the impressive stir caused by Sergey Brin’s short eulogy on Steve Jobs.

Few of us have the kind of following that Brin does, but it’s still fun to look at the ripples caused by an update. It’s also an excellent example of how visualization can help everyone explore the burgeoning amount data that is generated by their social activities online. This is something Facebook has begun to explore with its new Timeline feature.

It’s also a clever way to boost engagement and interaction on Google+, which has seen a drop off in activity after the early surge that followed its launch.

Just click on a recent update and hit “View Ripples” to see how one of your messages has spread. For other people’s examples try searching Google+ for the hashtag #ripples.

Visualizing social network data is something our research editor (and resident data wrangler) Mike Orcutt has been researching. Look out for a cool visualization on this subject in the next issue of the magazine.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.