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More solid enhancements to Google+

While Google+ is becoming an essential tool for businesses and writers (largely because of Authorship), it has yet to catch on with the masses.  I personally use Google+ quite a lot, but if I want to stay in touch with my friends and family I still need to head over to Facebook.  Google is continuing to iterate the features and look of Google+, and the changes they’ve just rolled out are quite good!  Will it be enough to help draw more users into the service?  Time will tell.

Here’s what’s new:

New stream layout

Google has changed the main stream from a single-column to a multi-column layout, similar to how it has looked on tablets in recent months.  The new look is great!

google-plus-multi-column

Improved Hashtags

Google+ has had support for hashtags for a while, but now they’re taking it further.  According to DigitalTrends:

2013 may be the year of the hashtag. Facebook is reportedly working on supporting hashtags, and both Instagram and Flickr now recognize the feature. Google+ also supports hashtags, but is tweaking how they are fed into its service. Hashtags will be a core part of the app for content discovery purposes, since Google will show you similar posts with the same hashtag if you click on the tag, but Google+ will go a step further and tag posts automatically by scanning your post and figuring out what you’re talking about. So if you’re talking about Michael Jordan but don’t tag him, this new feature be able to read your post and do the dirty work for you so that your post can be included in other similar conversations happening within the network.

Tons of new photo features

Google+ already featured fairly robust photo editing and sharing tools, but they’ve just added a lot more to that area.  Here’s a quick video to show off some of those new features:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmQ-d71GdPc

Hangouts everywhere

Google+ Hangouts have long been one of the killer features of the service; a slick multi-user video chat with lots of extra features such as screen sharing and live streaming.  Now “Hangouts” have become a separate app that unifies Google Talk (the text chat app) with the video features of the Google+ Hangouts.  It’s a great app that is available for Chrome, iOS and Android.

You can read more about the new app and download it here, or watch the short video below for more info:

It’s quite a lot of improvements to an already solid service, so we’ll see if it can help take Google+ to the next level.

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

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