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.

  • 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.