April 12, 2012

Google+ Revamped

Noticed anything different about your Google+ homepage today?

Google announced a while back it was going to redesign its Google+ social network. At the same time, the company announced that Google+ now has some 170 million users, up from an estimated 62 million in January.

The Official Google Blog announced that they were introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. Basically, saying that Google+ now should be more easier to use and nicer to look at.

Navigation you can make your own
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. Some nice features now include:

  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

"Taken together, these powers make it easier to access your favorites, and to adjust your preferences over time. We've also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That. So stay tuned."

Conversations you'll really care about
I'm sure you want connect with others and cherish the conversations that unfold. Today's update includes some new features:
  • Full bleed photos and videos that'll make you really proud to post
  • A stream of conversation "cards" that make it easier to scan and join discussions
  • An activity drawer that highlights the community around your content

A new home for hanging out
Google+ Hangouts uses live video to bring people together, and the results range from heartwarming to breathtaking to music-making. Today a dedicated Hangouts page has been added that creates even more opportunities to connect in person, including:
  • An always-updated list of invitations from the people in your circles
  • Quick access to every public and On Air hangout, for those times when you want to meet someone new, or watch a live broadcast
  • A rotating billboard of popular hangouts, pro tips and other items you don’t want to miss

Getting there from here
Today's Google+ update extends beyond navigation, the stream and hangouts. For instance: there's a new Explore page that shows what's interesting and trending across the network. And a new profile with much bigger photos. And a new chat list that puts your friends front and center. And a whole lot more.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the new features for yourself on Google+! I think the new layout will take some time to get used to, but I think its great that Google will keep on continuing to add more features that make our life easier.