Ripples Explained

Ripples is a wonderfully unique way to view content spread across Google+ as people reshare. Want to know more about Ripples? You're in the right place.
Ripples explained

What is Ripples?

Ripples is a data visualisation graph built-in to +Google+, and is enabled when a user reshares a post publicly. The tool is fully interactive, and updates in real-time, which can be particularly useful when watching the spread of a highly-engaging post, such as one you'd find in What's Hot.

When viewing a ripple, the original poster will display at the centre of a circle. When a user reshares that, another circle will be created for them with an arrow to show the connection to the original source. When other people reshare the post via a secondary post, the circle will expand to represent the resharing sequence. The larger the circle, the more reshares coming from that share. You'll see dozens, and sometimes hundreds of circles on the graph of highly engaging posts, all connected to the original poster.

Still a little confused? It's easier to understand when you look at an example for yourself:
Ripples from our extremely popular Make The Switch Announcement post
You can see from the graph above how the content has "rippled", and who has reshared the content. If you want to explore the ripple, you can drag the slider up or down to zoom in and out, as well as being able to drag the cursor to pan around, this way you'll see how intricate the graph can sometimes be.

Click on a name on the graph to zoom to their bubble, hover over a name to view a preview of their post and statistics from their reshare. You can also add people to your circles straight from here too.
Hover your cursor over a profile or page to view individual statistics and more
To view a great example of a ripple, check out our Make The Switch announcement post.

Tools and Statistics

Apart from being able to see your data spread visually across the page, you can find more detailed information around the confines of the graph.

Look to the right, and you'll see a list of people who have reshared the post, and what content they've added to it. Drag your cursor around the ripple to view more post previews. Underneath the graph, you'll see other data scopes and tools.


Watch the spread of a post in a time-lapse which highlights the points of time where someone has reshared the post. Feel free to pause, rewind or fast-forward through time as you please.


You can view a tally of influencers (users who have many public reshares of the post) underneath the time-lapse bar. Businesses may find this particularly useful to identify key influencers in their follower base.


Scan across general statistics in which you can find out interesting data such as:
  • Average chain length
  • Longest chain
  • Shares/Hour 


Want to know what languages the post was shared in? There's a pie chart for that.

How to View Ripples

To view Ripples for a post, make sure the post has been reshared publicly. Then, click the drop-down arrow on the top-right of the post, then hit "View Ripples".

That's all there is to viewing Ripples, nice and simple. And just for information, Ripples is not limited to just posts on Google+, copy and paste an URL from any website into the text field on the Ripples page to view how it has spread.

Have you explored Ripples? What's your favourite feature?