G5 examines Google+ major redesign

Google+ updates are better visuals and device consistency.
Google+ updates are better visuals and device consistency.

Just as we posted back in March, G5 knew 2013 would be a busy year for Google+.  A few weeks ago, Google+ launched a major redesign, offering its 390 million active users better visuals and standardized access across devices. Here’s what G5’s Digital Strategy team has uncovered about the social platform’s revamp:

Device standardization
Quoting a 2012 study, the Google+ Project blog explains people are constantly shifting between devices. They open an email on their phone and finish reading it on their computers. They hear about a new product on television and research it on their tablet.

To make the user experience more consistent across all devices, Google+ has harmonized its tablet and smartphone apps, as well as its web platform in the following ways:

  • New multi-column layout: Depending on device screen size and orientation, users will see up to three columns of content. Users can now add hashtags to their posts, and Google will sort them in streams accordingly.
  • Enhanced media: Following the footsteps of Facebook, Google+ is boosting image and video sizes to fill the widget of the stream.
  • Animated features: Icons in the share box, menus and cards move and slide, prompting users to take action.

Improved Hangouts and photo options
Other major Google+ upgrades were made to Hangouts, which are now available as an independent app and feature more emoticons and archiving options.

Meanwhile, the network also now offers more photo editing tools and saving options, placing an even greater emphasis on the importance of high-quality visuals.

The Takeaway
Here’s what you should know about the updates:

  • Context is key – These updates emphasize the need to produce relatable, relevant content. Only posts that matter to the user will appear in his or her stream.
  • Visuals are vital – Shortly after announcing the overhaul, Google announced additional layout improvement to its mobile app, including new cover photos and larger tap targets. Social media is increasingly revolving around visual stimulation. Share more high-quality, unique and intriguing photos to succeed.
  • The name of the game is discovery – Tag posts appropriately with the right hashtags to make content easy to find.


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