Google is giving their new social network, Google+, a makeover in an attempt to increase not only its beauty, but its functionality.
A critical piece of this social layer is a design that grows alongside our aspirations. So today we’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. We think you’ll find it easier to use and nicer to look at, but most importantly, it accelerates our efforts to create a simpler, more beautiful Google.
Navigation you can make your own
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:
- You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
- You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
- You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”
Strangely, Google calls Google+ an "upgrade" rather than a "new integrated social service". That's odd language to use. Then again, Google has a odd and serious challenge ahead of it. Outside of Googlers and Android aficionados like our good friends at Android Central, most people just don't seem to be using Google+. Better integrating Google+ into extremely popular Google services like Search, Gmail, YouTube might help make Google+ seem more successful, or it might just annoy users of those services who have no interest -- or an active dislike -- for Google+. At this point, in the greater online and mobile communities, users are basically telling Google they're fine with Facebook and Twitter. In a recent iMore poll, we found that while 43% of iPhone users used Facebook and 33% used Twitter, only 5% used Google+ (16% used Instagram). On the iPad, 50% used Facebook, 35% used Twitter, and only 4% used Google+ (10% used Instagram).
No word on when, or if, any of this new beauty or functionality will filter down to the Google+ iOS app.
Check out the video below and let us know -- will the makeover get you to use Google+ any more than you already do?