Google+ New Look and 170 million Users - Digital Space

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Google+ New Look and 170 million Users

The Google blog email starts with this: "More than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+..." it then goes on to outline all the changes that have been made to the ever-growing platform. 170 million? Isn't that more than what twitter has (according to Wikipedia, twitter has about 140 active users)?

So there's growth for Google+ and the powers that be decided to redesign the look and feel of the service. The changes made are profound and is intended for a simpler navigation. There's a more prominence given to Hangout (the standout feature) - a new dedicated page. Now you can see all hangouts in one place and joining has been made miles easier to join.

Now will be a good time to quote the bloggers at Google's official blog here:

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. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites 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
Once you’ve upgraded to Google+, it’s easy to share with your circles from just about anywhere. We’re dreaming bigger, though. We're aiming for an experience that fuses utility with beauty—one that inspires you to connect with others, and cherish the conversations that unfold. Today’s update is an important step in this direction, including:

  • 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

Simply put, we're hoping to make sharing more awesome by making it more evocative. You know that feeling you get when a piece of art takes your breath away, or when a friend stops by with unexpected gifts? We want sharing to feel like that, every single time.

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 we're adding a dedicated Hangouts page 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
By highlighting all the hangouts you can join, all over the world, it’s now easier to spend time together—even be there for each other. And with efforts like hangout apps already underway, you can expect more hangouts in more places in the future.

I think it's a welcome development and a good sign that Google+ is here to stay. If I were Facebook, I will be afraid but not very afraid :)

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