Google+ has a new look, more mobile friendly platform with a focus on communities and collections – Google+ has been working hard to deliver what it believes users really want. Its developers have been out on the road, visiting users to get their feedback. Compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, Google’s social media presence has struggled since it first began. The latest revamp aims to provide a more responsive experience that the company hope will improve their prospects.
A more responsive Google+ means that when you access the platform on your pc it spreads out to fill the screen and when you open it on your mobile it fits just right as well. Faster download speeds also mean that if you are stuck with a bad Wi-Fi connection you should still be able to use Plus without too much problem. All that aside, the new Google+ is putting more focus on engaging with communities and collections. According to executives, that’s exactly what users want.
Google+ Collections for the Enthusiast
The new collections tab allows users to group together the areas that are of interest to them. So if you like books then you can follow a whole host of people who specifically blog and post about them and if you are interested in hiking there are collections for that too. In fact, there’s almost a collection for everything.
Google+ Communities to Engage With
While Collections are about individuals with a particular interest, the Communities tab is about engaging with a whole range of people with the same interest. Google says they are getting 1.2 million community joins a day which is why they have decided to focus on it.
More than any social media platform, Google+ has been through the changes in recent years, perhaps a sign that it still isn’t really sure of its place in the industry. Hangouts and Photos came and went and the brief experiment insisting people sign into YouTube through the platform was a relief for many when it finally got kicked back into the long grass.
Google+ reimagined is a much simpler platform than before and because of that it might actually begin to engage more users. The plethora of +1’s, notifications and share buttons always felt like they were throwing options at you without giving any indication of what was good and what was bad. For marketers and SMEs, the communities will still be the standout feature and engaging with these, as with those on Facebook, should be part of any business development strategy.
Collections is a fairly recent addition but if you want to boost your timeline with relevant topics and keep on top of your industry news, then they could well be a valuable source of information. Google has a new team working on the platform and there are plans to add more to it over the coming year or so but, for the moment, users may well just be pleased that the design has been simplified. Whether it will attract more user engagement remains to be seen but there are still benefits for business if you are prepared to work with the platform and figure out the right strategy. Not to mention the huge organic SEO benefits are still very real. You can read Google’s take on the new features in their blog: Introducing the new Google+