Last week, Google had a lot of big announcments at their annual keynote, especially when it comes to their social network Google Plus. I was furiously taking notes as there were 41 friggin’ features that they updated! I mean seriously. Like we didn’t have enough to talk about.
In this week’s Social Thursday I’m giving you the run down of the biggest features to make note of everything from layout to photos to hangouts.
Watch Google Plus is New New New!
The newsfeed is very different. You might think “how “pinterest”ing!” Definitely a similar magazine layout here to help multimedia standout. You can change it to one column if you like, but three is now the default. Some updates can even take up more than one column in that layout which is really making pictures and videos pop.
The sidebar menu is now hiding in waiting for you to actually use it. This is helping the newsfeed stand out even more without standard menu buttons to distract. You just highlight the page status button at the top left and the menu will appear when you’re ready to move on.
One of the biggest changes is a feature Google is calling “related hashtags”. They are actually taking extra steps with your status updates and reading the content (even videos and photos) to help designate relevant hashtags that the update would belong to. This helps your content be found among more audiences but more uniquely it helps your circles discover more content within that subject matter by being able to see your update and flip through the hashtag for more information. Very discovery driven feature here giving all parties less work. You can of course get rid of hashtags if they were a big miss with your content, but so far I’ve found they’re pretty spot on.
Hangouts is obviously one of the biggest features of Google Plus, quite frankly one that has made the network not fail, and is now seeing a big change as well. In an effort to help Google users communicate more seamlessly, Hangouts is now a stand alone mobile app that help you bring your Gchat and Hangouts communities to one place. You can now message those friends as you usually would but easily be able to switch to a video call in the same app. This is helping to bring group messaging to the Google networking world while being able to add in their video hangout flair.]
Photo sharing is also seeing a big upgrade. It’s typical to be able to find enchancement tools either on the web or with mobile apps, but Google Plus is making it much easier to show your photos off at their best. Upon upload to the network, there are enchancement tools that automatically upgrade your photos so they are perfect for sharing. You can even create an action sequence of photos that were taken very closely together. (Hello outfit of the day angles and poses! OMG I’m such a girl.) You’ll also find that creating a photo album of your vacation photos just got easier to prepare for sharing because Google Plus does the work to find the best photos of the batch to create a highlight album so your circles can see the most important moments. This takes into consideration different scenery, people’s faces, whether the mood was good or bad, disregarding duplicates, you name it. Google is basically getting its common sense back with this feature.