Google+ gets a facelift

Tweaks to its social platform's design show that competition with Facebook is driving Google

Google+ began rolling out a redesign on Wednesday that it hopes will make the social platform "easier to use and nicer to look at," according to a blog post.

The changes allow users to customize their main navigational menu, which now appears, like Facebook's, along the left side of the landing page. A "Hangout" icon in the revamped menu takes users to a list of promoted video chats that users can watch, as well as open chats they can join. Google often points to Hangouts as a strength of its social network, which it says now has 170 million members, compared to Facebook's roughly 850 million.

Additionally, photos now appear "full bleed," without borders or white space, in the Google+ content stream, and profile photos can come in a wider range of sizes and layouts.

The changes to how the platform handles photos "reflected a recurring request that we heard from profile owners and brands that they wanted more area of the profile dedicated to unique imagery that would help them stand out," a Google spokeswoman said in an email.

The upgrades come on the heels of competitor Facebook's move to display higher-resolution photos and to allow full-screen viewing of pictures. Facebook's ongoing focus on photography also reportedly drove its purchase this week of app-maker Instagram.

The new Google+ landing page also includes a "Trending on Google+" panel, which mimics the popular Twitter feature. Shortly after Google announced the changes, "#newgoogleplus" was trending, and one user said the new feature "will make Twitter take an early retirement." Another remarked, "OK, they copied in a sense, so what?"

The most common complaint among users posting about the changes on Wednesday was that the new design left too much white space on the right-hand side of the screen, particularly for users with large monitors.

Google says all users will have the new layout within "the next few days."

Cameron Scott covers search, web services and privacy for The IDG News Service. Follow Cameron on Twitter at CScott_IDG.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Cameron Scott

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?