17 May 2013

Google Plus - New layout and features unveiled at #io13

When I clicked onto Google Plus earlier on today my first reaction was 'OH, That's different!' The 'news feed' as you would call it has had a major makeover and now looks like Facebook and Pinterest's shiny new love child. 

The first thing you notice is definitely the appearance of the 'news feed' area [Sorry Zuck,  but I'm probably just going to call it this from now on] but this new roll-out apparently has "41 new features for Google Plus, the most important being related to design, messaging, and photo sharing."

New Google plus layout

Now, at this point I need to say that although I've had a Google plus account for the past couple of years,  it's not something I'm particularly enamored with. I think one of the reasons behind this is the fact that none of my friends really have it, or if they do they seldom use it. A current report from Google suggests they have 190 million active users, and around 390 million who have partly upgraded to it's services....but I'm certainly not pals with any of them! I can appreciate that it has some really cool features like hangouts and events but it's kind of like being at the best party in the world....all by yourself - not much fun! Another couple of things annoy me. For one the 'cover image' at the top is wayyyyy to big, and I don't think I'll ever quite get used to categorising people into circles ..it all feels a bit kumbaya. Sometimes you just know people because you know them, and it feels a bit proper to call them an 'acquaintance'.

Apart from those couple of bug-bears I've been persisting with Google Plus and posting on it occasionaly over the past two years. I mostly use it to link to my blog posts as Blogger gives you the option to post these automatically and I read somewhere that the Google search engine gets particularly excited by these links and will list these higher in search listings. 

New Google Plus photo feature layout

I'm not going to list all of the new Google Plus features as I probably won't give it justice. So, I'll just talk about a couple of things that have caught my eye. 

  • As mentioned before I think the new multi-column layout is a big improvement and a lot more interesting to look at, even if it is a bit of a Facebook rip off. 
  • I also quite like the little 'mini profile' that hovers up when you roll over someones profile name. 
  • GIF's/animations can play straight from within the news feed. Awesome.
  • The new photo page is also pretty cool. It seems to pull photos into albums automatically depending on where they came from, or what they are about. 

However, I don't like:
  • The grey background and pure white colour scheme is just a bit too minimalistic and is a bit of a snooze-fest.
  • I STILL can't find the 'edit profile' button easily, am I missing something?!

Do you use Google Plus? What are your thoughts on the new layout and features?

Thanks for reading! Melissa.

Coincidentally, you can add me to your circles here > Melissa on Google 

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  1. For my purposes, the new format is truly awful. http://tuscany-toscana.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-new-googleplus-layout-is-terrible.html

  2. Hi Anna - thanks for commenting. I read your blog post and agree with you on a few points, especially the issue with the bizarrely big cover image! Melissa.

  3. Very well written. Love your blog :).

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    1. Thank you very much Hannah, really appreciated! :) x

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