Google announced Wednesday a number of new features for Google+, which include navigation and design changes. The result is desired to be a more “functional and flexible version of Google+,” according to their blog post.
The mammoth search engine has introduced trending topics and cover shots, as well as a more “dynamic” navigation menu.
According to Google, so far more than 170 million people have “upgraded” to the new social network. In January, Google made Google+ account creation mandatory when users signed up for other Google services. So the 170-million figure more than likely includes people who have signed up for Gmail or YouTube, received their Google+ account, but never actually returned. Critics assert that the number of regular visitors is much lower than 170 million – and Google’s efforts seem to indicate they are well aware of this reality. Actual engagement statistics have yet to be released.
In a blog post, Google’s Vic Gundotra wrote, “It’s still early days, and there’s plenty left to do, but we’re more excited than ever to build a seamless social experience, all across Google.” Gundotra also said the new features offer “full bleed” media – showing photos and videos in full-size and quality – and “conversation cards,” which would make it easier to have conversations in a thread, which is how Gmail is designed.
Google+ now displays a list of the most commonly discussed subjects, called trending topics. This is meant to offer a similar service as Twitter, which started this feature in 2010. The service also now uses the cover-photo feature that Facebook now has as a large image situated behind a user’s profile default.
Check out some of the new features summarized here.
At present, Google is doing very well – but at one time, so was Yahoo. In the face of looming competition from Facebook, which is venturing into the realm of search engines, Google is doggedly doing everything it can to press users to interact using their social media service.
And with the way the currents move in the industry, who can blame them?