Q: I want to share my Google+ profile with friends and clients by including a link in my email signature, but the current extension is a long string of random numbers. Is there any way to shorten this URL or personalize it?
A: My Google+ account (https://plus.google.com/105902928007853425361) reminds me of when I first signed up for Facebook all those years ago. The long string of numbers at the end of my profile made it difficult to share it with anybody. But then the social network came up with vanity extensions, allowing users to create a custom URL -- if somebody else hadn't signed up for it first. The day that this feature was rolled out, I remember, my friends rushed to claim their desired extensions.
Google has said that it will allow vanity URLs for Google+, the new social sharing service it launched last week, at some point, according to the Next Web. But until it does there's an easy work-around. Google Plus Nick, a Web-based app, can turn your Google+ URL into a gplus.to/user address. Just visit the app, enter the long string of numbers that Google has assigned to you and decide on a username. You can now find me at gplus.to/nicholasbjackson. It's not much shorter, but it is a lot easier to remember and can be added to online signatures or sent out in emails or instant messages.
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Image: Google Plus Nick.