Developer API for Google+: It's coming

"We're just getting started" on the newly unveiled social network, Google exec Vic Gundotra tells CNET. "It is inconceivable I would build something without a platform."

Google's new social network, Google+, has only been public for two days, and developers are already interested in access to the service so they can roll out add-ons and improvements.

Fortunately for them, and ultimately for Google+ users, developer access is coming. It's simply a matter of time. As Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social for Google, told me at a Web 2.0 Summit cocktail party tonight, "I'm a developer guy at the core. It is inconceivable I would build something without a platform."

Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social for Google. Julie Blaustein

Gundotra worked for 15 years at Microsoft before leaving for Google. His last job there was as general manager of platform evangelism. It's fair to say he's got the background for building systems that developers can build upon.

Related links
• A hands-on look at Google+, using Google+
• How to invite your pals to Google+ right now
• Google+: It's friending, with benefits (images)
• Google resets social agenda with Google+
• How to look inside Google+ without an invite

But it's not surprising that Google+ launched without developer access. The service is far from fully baked.

"We're just getting started!" Gundotra gushed to me when we talked.

The features and functions of Google+ will likely change substantially in short order. More functions will be definitely be added to the service, as well as increased integration with other Google apps. Giving developers access now might be premature, as some might build products that end up duplicating features that Google itself is just about to layer into the publicly available service.

But opening up Google+ to developers eventually could enable all manner of add-ons and improvements, from third-party access apps, like Tweetdeck was for Twitter (before Twitter acquired it); to Zynga-like games that access the Google social graph; to other utilities and add-ons. Personally, I'd like to see a utility that makes faster work of managing and sorting contacts into circles.

Google is collecting names from developers who want to know when the company launches developer tools. There's an e-mail and Google Group sign-up online now.

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