Google+ is still in beta, so there’s plenty of room for growth and improvement before Google opens up to the public. However, it takes time for Google to make changes based on user feedback and test system-wide updates.
Golden View is a Chrome extension that can end the wait time for four often-requested features on Google Plus. Once installed, the extension can:
- Mute users
- Select a default Circle stream
- Hide Comments, images, or video
- Search with Google
In some ways, Golden View is more trouble than it’s worth because users may have to actively click to Show shared content. This extension is designed only for people who don’t mind putting a few extra clicks in exchange for a cleaner, free-flowing stream. Plus users who grow tired of scrolling through long comment threads or seeing a long line of graphics will be able to focus on the words people say and save on loading time. (The recent addition of collapsed comments built into Google+ also makes that particular feature unnecessary.)
Keep in mind that there are options to control what is hidden by default and what is shown. Here are the options that users can set:
Enable User Mute will temporarily block over-sharers. If someone in your circle posts too frequently in a given period, their shares will be muted until you restore their status. This feature will even block a re-share of a muted user’s post.
Hide Comments turns G+ into a more Twitter-like experience and only shows the updates. This comes in handy becomes Google+ shows several comments on updates, which clouds your stream. Users can have comments disabled completely, set to only be seen when clicked, or show updates when new comments are added. An added benefit is that a red “Recent” link will call attention to new comments.
Hide Images is similar to Hide Comments. Users can set always be seen, not be shown, disabled completely, or show/hide a particular image.
Set Default Circle makes it possible to jump specifically to one specific stream. Rather than see posts from all circles in the default Stream, you jump to Tech Friends or your Sports Friends circle. To do this, click the star icon that appears next to your circle. Click on that star again to unset and return to the stream.
Enable Search With Google will allow users to perform a Google web search of Google+ content. It can only search publicly-available information, so you’re not really searching Google Plus (privately-shared content won’t appear).
Download Golden View from the Chrome Webstore and change your settings by clicking the wrench icon. Then click Tools > Extensions > and click “Options” under Golden View for Google+ to change which settings appeal to you.