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Google+ Gets a Facelift

Google+ New Interface

If you’ve logged into your Google Plus account this morning, you may have noticed a new interface. We explore what new features Google have given social media fans.

Written by Kaye Neylon

Google Plus, Take Two

Prior to the update, Google+ was at best crowded with the intention of appearing appealing to its users. Following a pretty nifty facelift from the designers behind the world’s second most popular social network, we’re left impressed with the new layout.

The new fresh faced layout is exactly that, fresh! We haven’t seen something so slick since the upteenth timeline change from Facebook, but with that in mind, how will the design make a difference in way Google+ users actually interact with the platform?

Face-to-Face with the new Interface

For one, the new layout makes it a lot easier to understand what page you are currently interacting with and the sidebar navigation system displays an easy to digest flow of buttons which take you to each section of Google+.

The new navigation does make Google+ a lot more user friendly which can only be a good thing as Google is hot on the heels of Facebook for the No.1 spot in social networks.

The biggest feature after the new interface is the Hangouts standalone app which is available on the web and will be made available for iOS and Android platforms later this week.

Hangout Reloaded

What the new Hangouts system allows users to do is make free video calls to friends and family and host their own Google+ Hangout, once a privilege reserved for celebrities and high profile politicians (Barack Obama’s Hangout attracted one of the highest audiences earlier this year).

Here’s a sneak peek at what Google+ Hangouts will look like for iOS users.

google hangouts for ios

Google’s Senior VP of Engineering, Vic Gundotra, had this to say about what he hopes users will do with Google+ Hangouts App.

“People matter. The new Hangouts app will focus on conversations, rather than contacts. Contacts are still available with a single tap, and they’ll be ranked by Google according to how often you talk to or chat with those contacts.”

Google’s timing was, as ever, impeccable as they released a promotional video for the new Hangouts App. The ad focuses on just how much Google+ wants Hangouts to be used to connect family and friends so they never have to miss out on anything.

Re-edit

Much like Facebook users will edit images using external apps such as Instagram or other third party apps to edit images before posting on their timeline, Google+ wants its users to find everything they would need right within Google+ itself.

A pleasant feature is the photo enhancer which gives users the options to edit and enhance images before posting or tagging.

#Hashtag #Usage

Some consider hashtags exclusively for Twitter users but Google+ now likes you to incorporate hashtags in your updates so it makes other users easy to find your content. So remember to use your hashtags next time you update your Google+ because Google likes this!

#Summary

In bullet list form, these are the changes Google+ has made to your Google+

  • Navigation around Google+
  • Google Hangouts with friends and free video calls
  • Photo enhancement
  • Stream layout
  • Hashtags
  • Post display and edit options
  • How do you use Google+? Do you like the changes Google have made or perhaps you think there are still areas for development? Leave your comments in the box below!

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