Love it or hate it Google+ now has over 190 million active users (much larger than Twitter) and most of you will have seen the visual overhaul that happened a week or two ago.

The announcement of the 41 new features for this platform was announced at the Google I/O keynote, but there are a couple of main takeaways for us.

  1. The obvious, the new layout of the news stream very ‘pinterestesque’. The multi-column design is much more visually appealing and enables you to quickly consume more content a scanning through is much quicker. Photos are now much more prevalent and when you share a news piece it now feels much easier to do with the new pop up box.
  2. Related Hashtags. Now this is really useful, when you are reading a post on your news feed, if the post has used hashtags, on the top right in a small grey box you will see any other related hashtags, this allows you to see other posts that are related to your content. If you click on the hashtag you can continue to flick through these to explore more. This is a great little feature and one that marketers should be taking advantage of.
  3. New Photo Features. Auto enhance which trys to brighten your picture and lessen the noise, a great feature which we are yet to explore is what Google are terming as ‘awesome’ which enables gif creation, simply load a number of photos together and Google will try to stitch them together into an animation. Clever! Google can also negate blurry photos and just choose the best of the bunch and also tag them for you… all clever stuff.
  4. and finally Hangouts App. This is a new cross-platform unified messaging service. This app pulls everything together from Google’s GTalk, Google+ Messenger, Hangouts and Voice products and then delivers it across all platforms including desktops android and Apple devices, really trying to integrate everything together into one unified arena.

Here is a quick video for you on the new stream and related hashtags

Are you using Google+ yet? what do you think of the new layout, we’d love to know!