Analyze Google+ Posts with R [Update]

Analyze google+ posts with R

Hey everybody,

today I show you how you can start working with the Google+ API to analyze Google+ posts with R. We create a personal API key, get our own stats and plot them in a nice looking graph.

Get the API Key

You can get our API key on the Google Developer console here:

There you can see an overview of you API activities if you have some. To create a new API connection click on “APIs” and turn on the Google+ API.

Google API Console API

Google API console API menu

After you did this, you can click on “Google+” and you see a list of the available API calls. Now click on “Credentials” on the left and click on “Create new key” to create a new public API access. Then click on “Browser key” and then “Create”.

Google API calls

Google API credentials

Google API accessGoogle API key

And there it is: you API key.

Analyze Google+ Posts with R

For our first analysis we need the packages



And we need our api key and our user id:



In this case I used my own Google+ ID but you can use every ID you want. But we can just receive the public posts.

We get our raw data and put it in a JSON object with:



We can now put the data in a DataFrame to make it more readable. But we don´t need all the values we received as these are a lot. We get the fields



We can save this DataFrame as a CSV file with:


Visualize your Posts

To visualize your posts we extract the informations we need and store them in the Data Frame df_graph

Then we can plot it with


Bildschirmfoto 2013-12-28 um 19.43.45

You can find the complete code on my github page here.

Please follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.

Julian Hillebrand

During my time at university and learning about the basics of economics I started heavily exploring the possibilities and changes caused by digital disruptions and the process of digital transformation, whereby I focused on the importance of data and data analytics and combination with marketing and management.
My personal focus of interest lies heavily on technology, digital marketing and data analytics. I made early acquaintance with programming and digital technology and never stop being interested in following the newest innovations.

I am an open, communicative and curious person. I enjoy writing, blogging and speaking about technology.

  • So, why would we want to do this? What does R bring to scatterplots of Google+ accesses?

    • Hey hypergeometric,
      thanks for your comment.
      My purpose of this post was on the one hand to show again the possibilities of R as something more than “just” a statistical language. With all its packages R got a lot of more different layers.
      And on the other hand to show some of the possibilities of the Google+ API, which is not as developed as the Facebook API but also has some cool functions.
      And to bring these two aspects together I wrote this post.
      And you should do this when you are interested in your posts performance on Google+. This is more about Social Monitoring than about statistical computing.
      I hope I could help you.

  • Cool. 🙂

  • Demas

    Hi, it is really good, thanks for sharing!

    Also, I’d like to know if is possible to do something like they did for twitter using TwitterR (


    • Hey Demas,
      there are a lot of possibilites of working with Google+. This is a very interesting topic and I will write some new tutorials when I have some time. So follow my blog and you get noticed when there are new tutorials available.