Written by: Colin McDermott
Until today only Google+ brand-page owners could use the profile badge feature. Users complained that when they tried to add a badge, it wouldn’t show up, even when using the preview tool.
Google have just announced via an email to to members of the Google+ preview group and also via a blogpost that it is now possible to create a profile badge for personal users.
To create the badge, there is a new page called “Profile Config Tool” under Plugins > Badge on the Google+ Developers site.
Enter a valid Google+ profile ID in the box to start creating the badge.
You can see an image of the badge above.
Using the advanced options it is possible to adjust the width of badge from the default 300px.
It is possible to create a more squared shaped badge by reducing the width below 170px, which seems to be smallest size the badge can be made before the shape changes.
The inital design with width at 300px appears initially to have a lot of white space on the right side of the badge. However the reason for this is made clear if you see a the badge after adding someone to a circle. The circle someone is added to is displayed in the whitespace, filling the gap nicely.
You can see a badge side by side with a brand badge here.
Why are the new Google+ personal badges useful?
The badges will most likely fit the requirement for personal blogs/websites/portfolios, places where you don’t necessarily that don’t necessarily want people to +1 you or your content, but you do want people to follow you on Google+. The badges are similar to the Twitter “Follow” button in this respect.
The change is part of a wider aim for Google to make it easier for users to follow friends, family and favourite users on Google+.
In addition to the personal badges, Google have also released updates to the +1 button and brand badges.
Google have also released a Google+ style guide [PDF] for brands/businesses.