April 12, 2012
Google on Wednesday, April 11 unveiled an updated version of Google+ that it said will be “more functional and flexible,” as well as “simpler, [and] more beautiful,” PC Magazine reports.
“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,” Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social at Google, wrote in a blog post.
The revamp touches on navigation, conversations, and Hangouts, as well as other small updates, Gundotra said.
On the navigation front, Google+ will now have a “ribbon of applications” on the left-hand side rather than a group of static icons atop the page. Users can drag and drop icons on that left bar to re-order them, hover over them to reveal optional actions, as well as hide or show apps as they like.
On the news feed, Google is promising “full bleed photos and videos,” as well as conversation “cards” intended to make it easier to follow along with certain discussions, and an activity drawer that highlights the community around certain content.
Google+ will also now have a dedicated Hangouts page, with up-to-date invites, quick access to on-air hangouts, and a rotating billboard of popular hangouts, tips, and more.
Gundotra also talked up the social network’s updated Explore page, which highlights trending topics, profiles with bigger photos, and a chat list that puts friends front and center.
The updates will roll out to all Google+ members in the next few days.
On that front, Gundotra said more than 170 million people have upgraded to Google+ across Search, Gmail, YouTube, and more.
Recent data from Experian Hitwise found that the number of visits to Google+ was up 27 percent between February and March, reaching a total of more than 61 million visits.
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