Lindsay Lichtenberg and Marian Adjei
Google recently announced its first round of design changes to its Google+ platform since its official launch in September 2011. During this period, the network has grown to over 170 million users to date, with nearly 30% of the audience engaging daily and 60% returning at least once a month according to Google.
Changes to the platform were introduced to make a 'simpler more beautiful Google' (Google official blog, 2012), moving towards a very minimalist design, yet clearly responding to the trend of a more visual web.
New features of Google+
Home – The homepage displays a customisable navigation bar which allows users to easily move around different areas of their profile. The top section of a profile activity stream has a small bar that can customise a user's network activity stream to see posts from their circle of choice.
- Similar to Twitter's 'Trending Topic's', Google+ has "Trending on Google+" which displays the top topics on Google+. Looking into the near future, this feature will be fine-tuned making it location specific.
- "You may know" – Google+ now pulls up a small list of people you may want to add to your circle.
- The new Google chat is located on the right hand side of users profile page.