Google+ Updates Announced
Google+ updates were another big topic at the annual Google I/O Conference. The updates have been in effect since Wednesday. In total 41 new features have been added to the social network. Some updates include a newer layout, improved Google+ Hangouts features and probably the most attention-grabbing update of all, an enhanced Google+ Photos. Although Google+ is not the most popular social networking platform, it still has 190 million monthly active users.
One of the new updates is a change to the user interface. Instead of a single stream, the social network now has a multi-column interface. Now, posts focus less on text and more on bigger, sharper images. The layout is actually similar to Facebook’s current timeline, right down to the bigger cover photo. On top of this, Google+’s new layout includes a Share box that allows users to easily share links, updates, photos and more.
What is likely the most important new feature for content marketers, hashtags are also being introduced to Google+. The new, and optional, related hashtags feature lets Google+ analyse posts and in turn recommend hashtags. In the corner of each post, a menu will display hashtags and clicking on them will reveal related items based on Google’s search and social sources. Additionally, trending hashtags will be displayed in the right hand corner of the stream.
Changes have also been done to Hangout. Now on the web as well as all Android and iOS devices is the new Hangout App which combines the video chat service, Messenger, and Google Talk into one application. Users now have the ability to have group video chats, save conversations and re-watch them later, and sync messages across devices.
One last update worth mentioning is Google+ Photos feature. This feature picks out the best pics from your batch uploads and weeds out blurry photos, photos with bad exposure and duplicates. With respect to editing options, Google+ Photos can automatically color correct, remove noise, sharpen certain aspects of the image and soften skin. Another cool feature for your photos is called “Awesome” and it automatically detects whether a group of photos are part of a series and then creates an animated GIF from them. The “Awesome” feature can also stitch together similar landscape images into a panorama.
With all the new changes taking place with Google+, it’s possible that the social network will see more users on the platform taking advantage of the new updates. With all these updates in place, do you think the new Google+ will give other big players like Facebook and Twitter a run for their money?
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