Google+ plus new look, feel and features- review


Read about the new features of Google+ Read what all changes and new features have been included in Google+ and if they are the good or the bad. Read what Google and other people have to say about the changes in look and feel on Google+

My love for Google+ is obvious with the way I maintain this blog. It is my daily ritual to look for new features on Google+ and this is why it took me a few days to compose this post to update my readers about the new features at Google+ The newer update looks fresh and less clunky to me but that can be simply because looking daily at a similar interface is not interesting enough and I just liked the change. Though I did read about a few problems with the design refurbishing done by Google like instance of blank areas but all this for later. Let's start with the good things about the new Google+ look.
Google+ home screen

According to the Google senior vice president, Vic Gundotra, the redesigning of Google+ has been done to make it easier and attractive for its 170-million user community. When you first log into your Google+ account, the first thing that you will notice is the left side bar which contains the different sections on Google+ which has replaced the bar at the top. This Google plus menu-bar, called the "ribbon" is you fully customizable tool for all features of Google plus.

By customizable I mean that you can edit this bar according to your preferences and place the feature you use the most on top. For instance, I play Zombinis a lot on Google plus and therefore the bar has a great use for me. But I rarely use the "photos" feature so I simply dragged the icon to "More" box and it disappeared from the side bar into the More icon with a little animation. You can put multiple icons in the "More" box which is played at the bottom. The features of each service have been made easily available without navigating inside the service. For example, if you hover your mouse over the Photo service icon you get the option to add images using your phone or an online album.
More icon on Google+

Some big changes in Google plus


Changes in Hangout app in the revamped Google plus


The biggest noticeable change in the services has been done to the Hangout apps. Earlier Hangout was an icon placed in the right middle. It has now been given an entire service app icon (in addition to the "Start a hangout" option in the right side) which is boldly present in the left side bar now. It you open the app you will get the option to join several Public hangouts or hangouts of your friends. Google itself hosts Hangouts several times for Webmasters, designers, marketers and developers. Hangout is a great feature for quality video content and I expect it to gain much more usability in future.

Changes in Photo app in the revamped Google plus


Photography is one of the main ingredients of social networking. Photos attract user more than text and a conversation along with photo illustration has been proved to be the best medium of doing interaction. Google+ has been popular among photographers from the starting itself and now the addition of Picassa Web Albums with all its tools and the instant upload feature has helped a lot. A photo like a friend photo or family photo can keep a large group engaged on a social network. It is as simple that photos attract users and users attract the friends on those users.

Activity drawer- the new feature in Google plus


The Activity Drawer is made to keep a record on activity on your posts. It will show you the +1s and reshares on your posts. Earlier this information used to be displayed below the posts.

Google Plus vocabulary Card- the new feature in Google plus


A Card has the function like the Activity Drawer with a few additions. The Card contains all your posts with the comments, +1s, shares and all other information. As Gundotra says, "stream of conversation 'cards' that make it easier to scan and join discussions."
So as Google puts it, the new features in Google plus are full bleed photos and videos, a stream of "conversation cards" and an "activity drawer" highlighting the community around your content

As few shades of Twitter have also been integrated, like now the right side of the home screen will show you the Trending topics on Google+
Your Circles now have a slider that determines how much information from your each Circles flows to the main all-circles feed. For example I have set my friends Circle set to forward everything to my Stream.

There are some reports of blank space on large screens between the online friends list and the Stream posts. However, on my laptop with its 30cms screen, I did not find any blank space unless I scrolled down.

All in all most of the changes are welcome and this feeling has been shared by many of my friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook. It was quite surprising to see that many were happy with the adaptation of Trending feature on Google+ which is now sort of trademark feature of Twitter. I am not saying that this will lead to people stop using Twitter, this just means that it is forward step by Google in direction to improve their users.


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Comments

Author: bhavana24 Apr 2012 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 0

Hi, everyone,

Yes it's new look is very attractive,good, more advanced with added features.



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