Google+ Gets A Spring Clean

Google has given its social networking site, Google+, a major spring clean with a redesign and a new set of features.

Navigation of the site has been vastly improved to make the user experience much easier and simpler. The pages now feature a vertical tool bar of icons that direct to the homepage, profile and photos, among others. The icons can also be customised according to the individual user's wishes.

Photos are now more emphasised in the new redesign. The layout of photos is larger and more prominent, and resembles the displays on photo sharing sites like Tumblr and Flickr. There is also a new Facebook-like cover photo along the top of profile pages.

Google+ now features an updated layout to conversations and comments, which makes participation easier. There's a new "Explore" button which highlights posts made by Google+ members that are trending in a new stream of activity. This will hopefully encourage users to move beyond their own circles and 'explore' new, related, pages.

Hangouts has now been given its own page. This details a constantly updated list of invitations and provides easy access to public hangouts.

The changes will roll out over the next few days to Google+'s 170 million signed up users. Google+ is beginning to list itself as an alternative to Facebook, but it has a long way to go before catching up with the rival site's 845 million plus users.

Source: Ars Technica