Google’s social network, Google+, got a re-design yesterday that makes it a little bit prettier and improves the usability of the platform. Some of the re-design elements, included in the update, echo Facebook Timeline. For instance, there is now a cover photo that sprawls across the top of the profile (see image below) and photos and videos are displayed larger. Sounds familiar right??
In addition to prettying up its look and improving the navigation features, Google made efforts to better highlight some of Google+’s pre-existing features. A new Hangouts page, for instance, shows Hangout invitations from people in your circles and makes it easier to browse upcoming hangouts. If you are still unsure about what Google Hangouts are, check out this post. With a new Explore page, users can see the content that is trending across the network (see image below).
The ‘Navigation Ribbon’ allows users to drag apps up or down to create the order, hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions and show or hide apps by moving them out of the section.
Google also noted that the social network now boasts more than 170 million users since it’s 2011 launch. Let’s be honest though, how many of these are actually using Google+? I imagine the majority of the 170 million users are people who have signed up because of all the hype that surrounded the launch of the social network, before it flattered to deceive.
My initial thoughts of the update is that it is quite nice and I like the customisable ‘Navigation Ribbon’ but at the end of the day it’s still Google+, there aren’t that many people actually using it. It seems as if it’s a hybrid of Facebook’s Timeline, which was rolled out in March, and Twitter’s real-time aspect that has been encompassed in Google’s ‘Explore’ tab. Once again, sounds familiar right?? I just think that Google has seen what the main competitors are doing, used their ideas and slapped them on Google+. Poor effort Google!!!
It would be great to know you thoughts on the re-design. Do you use Google+? Do you ever think that Google+ will be able to compete with Facebook? Let us know in the comments below…