How to display latest Google+ updates with PHP and Unofficial Google+ API


As we are all waiting for official Google Plus API, I browsed the internet looking for some unofficial ways for implementing Google Plus into web applications.

I found some very interesting stuff, but the most advanced is Jason Striegel’s Unofficial Google API.

For the moment it consists the following:

GoogleUtil – functions for parsing the almost-JSON that Google Plus produces
PlusPerson – a person entity in Google plus that can be stored to a local mysql DB
PlusRelationship – a relationship between people in Google plus. This does not contain any circle context
PlusPost – a post to a user’s activity stream
PostAttachment – encapsulates a media attachment to a post

I will surely write a tutorial using this great code, but as I am enjoying a summer vacation, I wanted to write a simple tip on getting the latest updates from Google Plus. So I will use Plus Feed, an unofficial Google+ User Feeds.

Usage is pretty straightforward:

// Google Plus user id
$user_id = "107308413755179474011";
// we are using CURL to access the API
$curl = curl_init();
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_URL, "" . urlencode($user_id));
curl_setopt($curl, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);

$result = curl_exec ($curl);
curl_close ($curl);

header('Content-Type: application/xml; charset=UTF-8');
// just echoing plain XML result (which is Atom feed)
echo $result;

That’s it, you just enter desired Google Plus user id and get (unfortunately only public) updates for that user id. Now, you can use SimpleXMLElement to parse the results as I did on my Useful Twitter snippets tutorial.

More on this subject in one of the later tutorials, so stay tuned.

About the author

Zvonko Biškup

A passionate web developer with more than 13 years experience in PHP and other web related technology. My main interest is WordPress and new PHP frameworks.
Owner of Influendo Programming.
Enjoys exploring new stuff and possibilities, using new technologies and just having fun developing awesome stuff.

By Zvonko Biškup