The Google Plus redesign which launched today further pushes the media to take the social network more seriously. Google Plus is now as compelling a social network as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest in its own right. Sure, the user base is still learning and early adopters dominate. But the idea that it is a “ghost-town” is insulting to active participants who’ve come to love the platform. The “ghost-town” characterizations are a classic example of a media feeding frenzy. 170 million people now have accounts on the network. Today Googlers on the Google Plus team need to stand up and take a bow.
The redesign includes larger icons for easier navigation. The hang-out feature, which so many have come to love, is burned further into the user experience, encouraging expanded use of video conferencing.
One of the most simple but powerful changes is a simplified option for quickly curating which circles/followers you want to view at any given time. Circles where one of the most lauded features of Google Plus when it launched. They are now further front and center. People don’t have one or two groups they want to listen to in the physical world: they have dozens. Now users can “tune in” to circle with the click of a button depending on their mood at a given time. Just saw an inspiring Photography gallery in Olde Citi Philly? Choose to view only your photographers stream for ten minutes. Want to focus strictly on employees at your company? Choose a point person to create a shared circle for all employees, and any employee can tune into a stream of just co-workers’ shares.