Google+’s update released in May of this year, incorporated 41 new features in an effort to make the site more universal. Currently there are over 190 million uses active on Google+; with these new updates Google is sure to give Facebook a run for its money
The update provides the user with an interface that they are already familiar with by smartly combining the interface of both Facebook and Pinterest. Not only is this visually appealing but it is extremely user-friendly, especially for those users functioning on a tablet of mobile device. The multi-column layout allows photos and/or videos to be the main point of attraction making it easier for the user to scan the site for important and interesting information.
Hashtags have also been incorporated by automatically providing hashtags for profiles you follow and searchable hashtags will provide relevant information from across the network with the ease of one click.
Many of the updates have changed the photo options available, taking the novice photographer’s skills to the next level. Photos will not only be larger but, they will automatically be backed up with Auto Backup after being taken from a mobile device. Similar to the animation feature available on Vine, photos can be animated through the update known as Auto Awesome. Auto Enhance applies filters for photos similar to those available on Instagram, and Auto Highlight helps the user to create an album with ease.
The left sidebar offers users a preference to drag and drop applications for the network to the most desirable location; Allowing the user to essentially customize their view for shortcuts and quick actions.
Hangouts allow the users to chat through multiple venues at once including, text, photos, and live video. Traditionally chat features require all users to be utilizing the same feature.
Google+ still doesn’t have the large scale user base that Facebook has but it has definitely taken a stand to prove that it is a top contender and should be taken seriously as a social media platform.