Google + Gets New Features

Friday, October 28, 2011

Google + has been adding new features since they first launched the beta a while back – during that time, you needed an invite to get in and the doors opened and closed from time to time. Google + is now public and is still evolving.

 

You may have noticed links on certain terms that have a # in front of them. If you haven’t used Twitter, then you probably won’t recognize that they are hashtags which people can use to signify an emotion. For authors, it is a great way to categorize your posts such that if someone searches Google + for something, that they find your post.

 

While we are on the subject of adding posts, Sparks is gone and has been replaced with a more sophisticated search system and hashtags which can be pinned to the left side where Sparks used to be. You may, however, notice something new. It is called What’s Hot. It will essentially display the posts on Google + with the most activity.

 

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It cycles every now and then and can also be found after you have read all of the newest posts in your Newsfeed.

 

Authors may want to know how their content gets branched out on Google +. To do so, they can click on the options menu on the right side of the post and choose View Ripples. It will gather all of the shares and map them based on circles and groups of linked circles.

 

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It will open a new tab where you can see the Ripples of how content has been shared.

 

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Scroll down and you get raw statistics. The ripples can be made bigger or smaller and dragged around.

 

Pictures have a new twist now. You will notice a new Creative Kit in the Editor Menu.

 

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Click on it and you get a streamlined editing session in Picnik.

 

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This will make editing pictures in Google + a lot easier and you will be able to edit them whenever you want. If you want to immerse yourself, you can even do the edits in full screen.

 

It is likely that this will only be the beginning as Google + intends to make inroads on the social network market. Businesses and bloggers and causes will soon have pages, and if they look anything like some of the concept ideas, we may have one very powerful tool from Google.

 

 

The pages could include a maps applet, +1 button, verification status, public circles display, a canvas page where editors can do what they want and stylize, and Google Offers.

 

It is also noteworthy that Google Apps, Google Docs, Blogger, and Google Reader are or will be integrated with Google + soon.

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