The other day, a friend and I were discussing the next big update for Google+. While I had no idea when it would happen, all I could say was that it would be so huge that Facebook could be in serious trouble.
Well, the new Google+ is here, and I believe I was right. ;-)
What do you think?
The stream now has a Pinterest-like, multi-column layout that adjusts to screen sizes and orientation and gives more prominence to photos and videos.
Each item in the feed has specific areas that can be flipped to reveal related information without leaving the page. For example, click on the activity on a specific post or the “shared publicly / privately” link to see the feature in action.
Google is also adding “related hashtags” to the stream. Located at the top right of each post, they allow users to browse and discover related content shared by other Plussers.
- The changes apply to Communities as well. The About section has been moved to the right.
- To display new posts in your stream, you need to click the blue button on the left.
- The chat sidebar on the right has been replaced by a Hangouts icon. Click it to display your contacts and conversations. However, you can no longer see who is online.
- New comments on posts are added automatically. No need to refresh your page.
The Hangouts functionality now works as a stand-alone app and across all devices (Android, iOS and desktop). Some key features include photos and emoji, conversation history, and one-time notifications to reduce the noise.
“Once you see a notification on one device, we’ll clear it from your other Android devices and computers. You can also snooze notifications when you don’t want to be interrupted,” says Senior Vice President, Vic Gundotra on the Google+ Blog,
The Hangouts On Air page has also been redesigned to help users find interesting live conversations more easily.
The new Google+ is also all about photos:
- Auto Highlights de-emphasizes duplicates and lower-quality shots on your Photos page.
- Auto Enhance instantly improves your photos.
- Auto Awesome creates short animations based on a sequence of shots, or stiches portraits together into a single photo.
- Finally, mobile uploads are automatically backed up.
- You can access your account settings directly from the menu section on the left.
- The “Find People” tab has been renamed “People”. Your circles on that page are now color-coded.
Have you tried the new Google+? Did I miss anything? Come and share with us in the comment section!