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Google+ sees 58% surge in number of active users

Google has announced a 58 per cent increase in the number of monthly active users of its social network Google+.

Since May, the number of Google+ members who are actively using the network each month has risen from 190 million, to over 300 million.

Vic Gundotra, senior vice president in engineering for Google, made the announcement at a press event in San Francisco this week, which was organised to unveil new features on Google+.

New photo and video features were the main focus of the event, aimed at improving users' ability to search for photos, enhance them and share them.

"Photography today is too hard," Gundotra said. "When I go on vacation, my table is a mass of cables and memory cards and DSLRs and lenses, not to mention more and more photography is taking place on mobile devices.

"This is not fun. It's a nightmare. People have beautiful treasures that have become stranded in these various devices."

According to Gundotra, 1.5 billion photos are uploaded to Google every week, a number that continues to increase at an "amazing rate". Since Google+ was introduced in 2011, the number of videos uploaded to the social network has increased 20-fold.

One of the new features introduced sees an improvement in users' ability to search for photos using keywords such as 'hug', 'kiss' and 'waterfall', as well as over 1,000 other words that have been added to its search algorithm.

Gundotra also announced a new video editing service called Auto Awesome Movie, which allows users to create their own films from videos that have been uploaded to Google+.

Earlier this year Google+ surpassed Twitter to become the world's second largest social network, beaten only by Facebook.