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Ride The Wave – Google Docs Gets Comments

On Wednesday, Google announced that it would be making changes to the commenting feature in Google Docs. This change would make it more “discussion-like” with social elements borrowed from Facebook and Twitter.

Comments had previously been read as a string of text-only notes in Google’s cloud-based service. Google has now added more ownership and interactivity to each comment. Just like Facebook, Google Doc comments adds profile pictures, time stamps, and editing rights to each comment.

Google even enabled the Twitter-popularized “@mention” feature which will let you add users, direct comments at, and send e-mail notifications to others in the discussion.

Nick Cooper, a Google software engineer wrote “We’ve been using this next-generation commenting system inside Google for several months and have seen it make the feedback cycle shorter and get more people involved,” in a blog post.

He believes that the combination of the added structure and intuitive e-mail will give life to discussions that surround important documents. The discussion-like features will be added to new Google Docs over the next few days, starting with the personal Google accounts and those on Google’s Rapid Release track. In order to test this feature on existing documents, you’ll have to create a new document.

Google Docs’ mobile app added the ability to edit documents in 44 different languages, just earlier in the month. In January, Google streamlined the service, redoing the way files are organized, thus making it easier to display and preview documents. Google Docs also recently added the ability to play video, and rumor has it that there is an integrated music player on the way.

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Craig