This week’s news is dedicated to Google. First of all, the new Google+ interface is a promising step forward towards greater usage of the platform. Secondly, Google has just announced that Google Maps will be available also offline.
If you visited Google+ this week, you might have noticed a different user interface. This is how it used to look before:
See the cover photo and all profile details on the left hand side. Underneath, you could select between posts, collections, photos, videos and reviews. You could also check who was in your circles and who added you to their circles. The homepage (so-called “Stream”) used to look like this:
I must say it’s not the most user-friendly interface for an online platform (Google+ stopped using the term “social network” long time ago). Homepage looked a bit messy – featured collections, posts from people I followed sorted in a weird order and this strange menu on the left hand side that I always clicked on by mistake.
This is the new, revamped and polished G+ (click to watch the GIF):
Google has researched their users and found out that Collections and Communities were the two primary functions that they made use of. If you switch to the new version of the platform, the first thing you will see on your profile page are your own collections:
If you use G+, Collections is kind of folder than you can make and put all your posts in there. It’s a themed board, just like on Pinterest. See an example of my collection called “Facebook Ads 101“.
The rest of the posts follow, just like in the old interface:
New menu on the left hand side is static, which means you will always see it (unless you click the hamburger icon to hide it completely). What is now missing is the menu with posts, photos, videos and reviews as well as your followers and the number of profile views.
What happens when you log in to G+? The new revamped G+ has decided to push Collections and Communities forward, e.g. in the side menu. Once you open up the application, you get to see a cleaner timeline of posts and easier search.
Navigating to Collections, you can select between featured, followed and your own collections. It’s actually easier to discover someone’s stories or guides. It looks a bit like Twitter Moments or curated stories based on one topic.
The same happens in the Communities window, which is similar to LinkedIn or Facebook Groups.
When clicking on the group, you can see if it’s private or public. Joining a public group lets you immediately tune in and share your updates with other members.
In general, the platform is redesigned for faster and improved experience, better search and discovery of quality content. I must say it looks way better than before, however I’m still struggling with the whole idea of circles. Who do I have to add and where and most of all, who do I publish to?
I’m giving G+ a second chance after this revamp, especially if it’s easier to connect with other members now via Communities as well as easier to make my own content more discoverable.
You can follow me on G+ here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/+Socialmediatipzrock
Let me know what you think about the new G+ and how do you use it to grow your online business!