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Google+ now connects with YouTube, Chrome

Google has integrated Google+ with both YouTube and its Chrome browser, offering users a more direct way to share their favorite content.

Google+ now connects directly with YouTube to let you view and share your favorite videos.
Google+ now connects directly with YouTube to let you view and share your favorite videos.
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Google's social network is now socializing with YouTube and Chrome by integrating directly with both products.

A new YouTube "slider" lets Google+ users find and share whatever video content they want to view. Those of you with Google+ accounts will now see a YouTube button in the upper right corner of your profile page. Clicking on that button prompts you to type any word or phrase, which then opens a separate YouTube Player window displaying a list of video links related to your search term.

For example, typing the word "Avengers" shows links to trailers on YouTube for Marvel's upcoming comic book film, with the first video automatically playing. Typing "CNET" displays links to various reviews, interviews, and other videos from the CNET staff. You can resize the YouTube Player window and, just like on YouTube, you can change resolution, switch to full screen, and pause the video.

If you think your Google+ friends and followers would like a peek at the same video, you can then share it with the folks in your circles. Those people can not only view the video but also access a separate playlist related to the video you shared.

Google's own browser also gets to share some love from Google+ courtesy of a couple of new extensions.

A new Google+ Notifications extension will flash a red button in Chrome whenever someone adds you to a circle, responds to one of your posts, or does something else worthy of notification. You can even view and respond to any of the notifications directly from Chrome without having to bounce back to your Google+ page.

A second Chrome extension adds the Google +1 button to the browser. This lets you share your current Web page or content with your circles just by clicking on the +1 button, again avoiding the need to open your Google+ page just to share something.

Google says it's got more in store for Google+, YouTube, Chrome, and other Google products. But the YouTube and Chrome integration are both handy options, and it's a promising sign that the company is trying to make its social network more accessible and easier to use.