Fragment: Looking up Who’s in Whose Google+ Circles…

Just a quick observation about how to grab the lists of circles an individual is in on Google+, and who’s in their circles… From looking at the HTTP calls that are made when you click on the ‘View All’ links for who’s in a person’s circles, and whose circles they are in, on their Google Profile page, we see URLs of the form:

– in X’s circles:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/_/socialgraph/lookup/visible/?o=%5Bnull%2Cnull%2C%22GOOGLEPLUSUSERID%22%5D&rt=j

– in whose circles?
https://plus.google.com/u/0/_/socialgraph/lookup/incoming/?o=%5Bnull%2Cnull%2C%22GOOGLEPLUSUSERID%22%5D&n=1000&rt=j

You can find the GOOGLEPLUSUSERID by looking in the URL of a person’s Google+ profile page. I’m not sure if the &rt=j is required/what it does exactly?

Results are provided via JSON some crappy hacky weird format, with individual records of the form:

[[,,"101994985523872719331"]
,[]
,["Liam Green-Hughes",,,,"4af0a6e759a1b","EIRbEkFnHHwjFFNFCJwnCHxA", "BoZjAo3532KEBnJjHkFxCmRz",,"//lh5.googleusercontent.com/-z4ZRcOrNx7I/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/cQBO1TSuucI/photo.jpg",,1,
"Milton Keynes",,,"Developer and blogger",0,,[]
]
,[]
]

A scratch API, of a sort, is available form http://html5example.net/entry/tutorial/simple-python-google-plus-api

Note that these connections don’t seem to be available via the Google Social Graph API? (Try popping in the URL to your Google+ profile page and see who it thinks you’re linked to…)

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

3 thoughts on “Fragment: Looking up Who’s in Whose Google+ Circles…”

  1. great post!
    The file seems to contain only the followers that interacted or the top contributors? only about a third of my followers appear in the file… any idea why?

    1. @julien Been some time since I looked at this; the ‘whose circles’ url has a parameter ‘n’ that could be number of items returned (possibly with a paging option also), so the same may be true when looking up who’s in X’s circles?

      I did a script for grabbing friends/follower lists from Google+ and plotting how they follow each other here: https://blog.ouseful.info/2011/10/16/so-where-am-i-socially-situated-on-google/ (code link art the bottom of the post).

Comments are closed.