Google Plus has announced a host of new image editing features, which integrate the brilliant Snapseed application into the social network.

There’s also an ‘awesome’ twist with the addition of animated gifs for sequence photos. A collection of useful tools for anyone who wants to use original imagery in their content. 

On Wednesday Google+ announced a host of improvements. For me, involved in the content side of things, I was particularly interested in the new image features, particularly after hearing that they’d integrated the excellent Snapseed app

With this in mind, I thought I’d give the toolset a whirl and see how it could be useful to content teams, and I was impressed!

I’ve often wondered why people would start making the leap from one network to another, and I seldom use Google+, but these improved features certainly give it a major advantage in photo uploading.

It’s not the tipping point, but it’s certainly a victory in a war that will go on for some time yet. 

Integration of Snapseed

Ever since coming across Tim Ferris’ brilliant blog post: Food Photography Made Easy – Simple Tricks and Pro Tips from The 4 Hours Chef I’ve been interested in Snapseed.

It’s a brilliant photo app, but getting editorial teams to use it proved difficult since Google had discontinued the desktop version of it. The iPad version is brilliant – far superior to Instagram in terms of editing functionality – but it’s difficult to get into a content workflow.

However, yesterday I was pleased to see that Google had basically integrated the entire functionality of the app into Google+, and the results are fantastic!

Five features used in five steps

Let’s take the standard photo of me that I use for all most of my online avatars (indeed, for my Twitter profile, I previously used Snapseed for filtering). 

Now there’s quite a bit wrong with this. It’s lopsided, there’s blue lighting (from a TV), my face is shiny, stubbly and there’s a couple of blemishes. Time for a clean-up. 

Step one: basic edits

  1. First of all we can crop out the unnecessary space using the standard crop function and then rotate the photo to straighten it.  
  2. Cropped and moved 2.39 degrees to the right, then resized to 600px height – basics done. 

Step two: touch up

  1. A small blemish on my fore head can be lost using Effects > Touch Up > Blemish Fix. I just clicked over the area a couple of times and it was history.
  2. Then I used the Shine-be-Gone brush to mute shine on my forehead and nose. 
  3. I then used the airbrush to mute the beginnings of a beard!
  4. I also gave myself a bit of a tan. 

Step three: effects

I just started messing about. On the left is soften, on the right is a duo tone filter. 

Step four: decorate

I used Focal Pixelate on the bottom left and top right, and put in one of the speech marks overlays. I love that you can do this – you can quickly put quotes onto images. 

Step five: text

The number of fonts is impressive… However, at this stage watch out for pressing enter when you’re type, because you could lose everything!

Verdict: Possibly not the greatest example in the world, but it does show off the capability. There’s clearly quite a lot you can do with it! If you create your own images, give it a try – you’ll have the added bonus of an instant syndication point.