Google Plus is the dark horse; when you try to nail it down, it resurfaces and presents itself in a new avatar. Believe it or not, the latest avatar will shoot the number of active people and their time spending. Last night, I had seen a video with a sneak peek of the design and the changes to its social network. Today morning, I woke up to see the latest design changes at my end.
[youtube A3Atj57r15U 500 300]
And that’s it, Google Plus bought my next 30 minutes! The initial looks may not be a killer one but the navigation and categorization of its features has become really very easy and quick. So without any further ado, let’s check out what have been the new changes on the Google Plus personal profiles.
The New Changes in Google Plus Profile Pages:
1. Home: The home page now has lots of additional add-ons.
If you look at your left hand side, we have a nice new customizable navigation bar from which you can jump into different options such as Profile, Explore, Photos, etc. The major part of your Home page has your networks activity stream. The top of your activity stream has a small bar that you can customize. This top bar gives an option of what you want to see in your activity stream. The default ones are All, Acquaintances, Following and the last one you can add of your own from the circles that you have created or the search that you have added.
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]However, it would have been really great if Google Plus had provided more than one option to customize.[/pullquote]
Besides this, the Home page has “Trending On Google+” which is similar to what we have trending on Twitter. Even though it is similar to what Twitter already has but I am sure that in the coming days Google is going to fine tune this, making it location-specific. This should be an exciting feature to look forward to, in the near future.
The Home page also pulls up a small list of people “You may Know” which you can have a look at and add if you feel the need. I was expecting the same to happen when I added a circle tab on the top in the Home page activity screen. Presently, Google Plus only shows the list of all the people who are added in your circle.
[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Wouldn’t it be great if Google Plus can show me a list of people similar to the ones whom I have added in the circle?[/pullquote]
For example, if I am following a bunch of photographers from India, wouldn’t it be cool if Google Plus shows me a list of people of the same profession from different countries.
There is an elongated Google chat added to your page too. However, the interesting thing is the amount of space that Google Plus has kept blank. I guess it would be adding it’s own products as Gmail, Reader, Doc’s, etc. as widgets. What do you think, why is the white space for?
2. Profile: The profile page’s position has changed.
The display picture is big and comes with the basic details added to it such as the work place, location, etc. You can add a cover photo(900*180) if you wish to, to your profile in the same way you can do it for Facebook profile pages. But Google Plus gives you an option of two templates where you can either have a cover photo or you can keep the old look of having five different pictures. However, I am sure many would be disappointed with the size of the cover page, it is too thin to accommodate much.
3. Explore: Is a feature that allows you to find out what’s happening in Google Plus. One can find out what’s hot in Google Plus, what are people sharing and whom should you follow to get more out of the network. Initially, this feature was clubbed in the activity stream and one would find it difficult to locate this interesting stuff but not any more.
4. Hangout: One of the most fascinating features of Google Plus – Hangout also gets a new look. Now you have a Hangout option in the left hand side navigation bar. The page gives a complete list of Hangouts that one can join according to his or her choice. The Hangout feature has been used by a few Indian brands of late. Fiama Di Wills had done this during it’s online launch of website and before that Mahesh Bhat had done the same where he spoke to his fans, during the launch of Aashqui2 Youtube contest.
5. Photos, Circles and Games: These days every network seems to be working on Photos feature and Google Plus has done the same too. It has been constantly changing the way photos appear. They are now bigger and much more crystal clear to give a great user experience.
Circles have remained the same, giving a complete snapshot who all are in your circles and options to find more people.
Games, the later added feature to Google Plus has become more neat and easy to access.
There is a complete directory of games sorted in various categories. The page also tells you what are the games that are being played by people from your circle. Besides this, the page provides you with your gaming activity stream, list of new games added to the directory and the most popular games too. Must say I am tempted to try few of the games after having a look at the neat categorical display.
After spending more than an hour now on the recent changes on the personal profile pages, I am really tempted to use Google Plus more. Do you think the same or do you think that the recent changes are nothing as compared to the Facebook timeline changes?
P.S. I will be sharing my thoughts on the changes that have been made on the brand pages in a consecutive post. Do watch out for that!