Here's a brief summary of the main G+ improvements in effect today.
We at Econsultancy think it now has the chops to garner more users, and these features may enable the platform to take hold...
In the extraordinary words of Robert Kusabbi on our G+ page today:
It's hot. It's like Pinterest, the Tumblr iOS app and Facebook, but in Louboutins. Even uploading is pretty. My issue is that are there enough people engaged here who are not talking about Google+ but content and how long will it take for that to happen?
Seems we've been waiting ages for a mass movement here. I like it, but not sure if fits in my daily diet yet. I kind of want it to be, but is G+ like the person who you fancy who is hot, but has nothing to say upstairs...?
Here are the new features in summary.
1. Multiple columns
Google+ posts can be quite deep (not spiritually, just in centimetres), especially compared to a tweet, so the multiple columns helps to see more info at once, and must increase sharing.
We’ve already been commenting and +1ing more this morning.
You can now click on hashtags and see related content. It looks lovely in the new layout and again should drastically increase sharing.
3. Pimped photos
Back up unlimited photos at tablet resolution (2048 px) for free, or upload larger images at full resolution using your free 15 GB of Google Drive storage
Auto back-up is available from mobile devices and Google is automatically sorting photos by landmark, people etc
The highlights tab picks out the photos you’re likely to favour, and there’s new editing software and auto-enhance options. The resizing and annotation tools are particularly useful.
All of this is a major draw for individual users, and is a draw for Facebook users, particularly in the tween demographic who aren't necessarily picking Facebook as default network any more.
4. Hangouts expands
When someone from an enabled circle sends you a message or invites you to a video call, you'll be able to Hangout right away without having to accept a Hangout request first.
If you are a Google Voice user, you can receive calls to your Google Voice number right in Hangouts in Gmail, Google+, and the Hangouts Chrome app.
Although Google Voice is only US at the moment, Google is definitely going to eat in to FaceTime (that sounds horrific) with improved hangouts.
5. Help and UX
Google’s help and associated documentation is a lot slicker than other social networks. It’s always been a great feature of Google products in my opinion.
The new interface I think is intuitive, too, and this is gonna lower the barrier to some users already stuck on Twitter and Facebook.
All in all, G+ is definitely on the road to coaxing tons more users over into the giant Google garden.