With Facebook’s f8 conference just around the corner and Facebook already introducing massive changes in its privacy controls, smart lists, twitter-like subscriptions etc, Google quickly had to come up with some counter measures to attract users to Google+. In a bid to keep pace with Facebook, Google has announced a number of new features and changes to its social networking service.
Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Engineering posted on Google’s official blog:
“The Google+ project has been in field trial for just under 90 days, and in that time we’ve made 91 different improvements (many of which are posted here). Google+ is still in its infancy, of course, but we’re more excited than ever to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. Today we’re releasing nine more features that get us that much closer.”
- Google+ is Open for All!
The most important of these features, is the one opening up Google+ for everyone. Realizing that any restrictions on sign ups would only retard its growth potential, Google has opened its doors to everyone an all. No more sign ups through Google invites only!
- Hangouts on Mobile and on Air
The Google+ native Android app has been updated to support the most popular feature of Hangouts. Now you can enjoy video chatting on your smart phones if you have Android 2.3 or later and a front-facing camera. The iOS app is yet to get this update.
In order to talk to a larger audience “Hangout on Air” is being rolled out.
“Google+ users already use Hangouts to create intimate onscreen experiences—with family members, prayer groups, even people with certain medical conditions. But sometimes you want to speak to a large audience, or alternatively, view as a spectator. In these cases a public broadcast is what’s needed, so today we’re introducing Hangouts On Air”
Up to nine others can join in the Hangout while a larger audience watches.
- Request-Based Changes
Google has been looking into the requests received from its users to make the service even more user-friendly. Based on these demands it has introduced three following:
Changes for mobile users as introduced via its mobile blog:
- Users in the US and India can now can now receive notifications, respond to group messages simply via SMS. The service would later be rolled out to other countries as well.
-There is also improved +mentions support. In order to get a friend from your circles into your conversation you simply have to +[name of friend] in a post or conversation and you will be able to get their attention. So simple!
- iOS users can now +1 any comments in their Streams while on the go. The feature for Android app will also be out soon.
- Huddle Renamed as Messenger
Google has renamed its Huddle feature as Messenger and also introduced the photo sharing features for its mobile users. So we no longer have the Google+ Huddle, instead Google has decided to adopt the more conventional title of “Messenger” probably to save users from any confusion.
- Personalize Your Content
Google+ is all about creating your own sense of social networking. Three new features have been added to allow you to make changes of your choice anytime while on the go:
You can now edit your profile easily while on the go. Even take a new pic and replace with your existing profile pic!
You can customize your notifications and decide which ones you would like see based on their priority. This will make it much more convenient while you are travelling or moving about and do not have time to go through all the notifications
Google+ apps can now be shifted to an SD drive to give you more room on your mobile
- Google’s Stronghold incorporated into Google+ through +Search Feature
Google’s strength lies in its search capabilities which have now been offered for its +users as well. You just need to type in the Google+ search box whatever it is that you are looking for from people, posts to news around the world and there it will be for you.
“With more than 1 billion items shared and received every day, we’re excited to see how search will connect people through their posts on Google+.”
So try out all these new features and let us know whether these features are attractive enough to make users leave Facebook and become +loyals!
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