So your birthday rolls around… do you or your friends look forward to the amount of “Happy Birthday!” posts on your Facebook wall on your special days? How many of us only remember to wish someone a happy birthday only because Facebook reminds you to? If you’re one of those who switched over to Google+ and actively use it, now the social media will also send you a notification to remind you of a friend’s birthday, right on the Google.com homepage.
Google+ announced the new feature yesterday, noting that it will only display the birthdays of those you have in your circle. If you want to keep your birthday semi-private, users also have the option to share birthday information with just your circle, extended circle, or open it up to the public for well wishings. To send a happy birthday message, photo, or video, a direct link sends you straight to your friend’s Google+ page for all the smileys you’re willing to send. Now you won’t feel like a jerk for accidentally forgetting your friends on their special days. Of course, a call, card, or in-person wish would probably be better appreciated for the closer group of peers.
The announcement also notes that the update will only appear for Googlers searching in English on Google.com (sorry, Google.ca) but the ongoing roll out will come to additional languages over the course of the week. Alternatively, you can also check your Google Calendar for a consolidated list or reminders of your friend’s birthdays.
The birthday reminders serve as one of the many ways Google seem to be taking advantage of its clean slate homepage, much like it did with the Nexus 7 advertisement spotted yesterday. If this direction continues, the Google homepage may start to look very different in the coming few months.