Social network, Google+, has been overhauled to give it a much tidier new look. Google will be rolling the updates out gradually to all of the service’s users. The aim of the spruce-up being to keep its current crop of users active and entice those who no longer use the search company’s flagship product to return.
Many of the revamps go some way to solving the problem of Google+ looking increasingly cluttered. Navigational elements have been given the drag-and-drop treatment and now appear on a vertical toolbar at one side, whilst the buddy list has switched to the right. Profiles have been given a lick of paint with the addition of larger photos. An explore tab has now been adopted in favour of Sparks.
Hangouts, probably the most-vaunted feature in Google+, now has pride of place and their own dedicated page. Users will now be able to access live and public Hangouts, view Hangout invitations from those in your Circles, access a rotating billboard showing popular Hangouts and more.
A social future
Google’s latest update, while not enough to be labelled as a 2.0 release, is a statement of intent. It shows the social network is proving to be successful enough to warrant further development. It’s also evidence enough that Google’s future is firmly invested in social and its socially nurtured results aren’t going anywhere soon. In fact, by shoring up Google+, the company will be hoping to recruit more users, which will in turn yield Search Plus Your World results that are both more thorough and more accurate.
Speaker and Founder of State of Search, Bas van den Beld, agrees that this update is all about user engagement and ensuring there’s a certain amount of staying power in the UI. It’s this staying power that will increase the data Google has for its friend-based search results. “The end purpose will be that the more time you spend there, the more information Google will get from you to ultimately give you more personalised results in Search Plus Your World,” he concluded.