With 170 million people who have registered for Google+ so far, Google has decided to upgrade its social networking site with new ways to share in Search, Gmail, YouTube and other places, amid criticism that Google+ is not fully successful as it was played out to be initially.
“We’re more excited than ever to build a seamless social experience, all across Google… Today we’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+,” the search engine giant said on its official blog.
Navigation: It has introduced 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 helps you drag apps up or down to create the order you want, hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions and show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”.
It helps to access your favorites, and to adjust your preferences over time. It also provides a clutter-free space for “The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That,” writes Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Google.
The new feature makes it easy to share with your circles from anywhere, to connect with others, and make conversations. It also includes full bleed photos and videos that you can 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.
New home for hanging out:
Google+ Hangouts feature now uses live video to bring people together, and to music-making. Other features include an 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 will always be there, says Google. “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,” assures Gundotra.
Getting there from here:
Today’s Google+ update also 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. “We’re rolling out all of these improvements over the next few days, so please check back if you don’t see them yet,” says Gundotra. “With today’s foundational changes we can move even faster—toward a simpler, more beautiful Google.” he writes.