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Google Redesigns Its Social Networking Offering Google+; What's Changed

Search giant Google has redesigned its social networking website Google+. The changes have been made to Google+ Hangouts, conversations, the way people navigate through the site and more. According to the company, Google+ has more than 170 million members as of now, a number which is better than what Facebook had in its early days, but experts believe this growth will not sustain going forward.

"It's still early days, and there's plenty left to do, but we're excited to build a seamless social experience, all across Google. 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," wrote Vic Gundotra, Senior VP at Google, in an official Google blog post.

Let's have a look at what has changed

Navigation

Earlier, the page simply had static icons at the top; this has been changed and a dynamic ribbon of applications has been introduced on the left side. Users can now drag apps (like circles, games, photos etc) up or down and place them in the order they want to keep them in. They can also show or hide apps by moving them in and out of 'More' (something similar to what you can do with folders in Gmail). And if you hover over certain apps, they will automatically reveal a set of quick actions (like 'add photos' for the photo app)

Conversations

As far as conversations go, users can now post bigger photos and videos. A stream of conversation 'cards' have been added that enables users to scan and join discussions and an activity drawer has also been added that highlights the community around your content, hence making content sharing easier.

Hangouts

Google has added a dedicated Hangouts page to the site (Hangouts basically uses live video for allowing people to interact with each other). The page will have an 'always-updated' list of invitations from the people in the user's circles and will provide quick access to every public and 'On Air' hangout. Additionally, a rotating billboard of popular hangouts, pro tips and other items will also be provided on the page.

Here's a video explaining the changes

Other changes like a new 'explore page' that shows what's interesting and trending across the network, a new profile with much bigger photos and a new chat list have also been made.

"We're rolling out all of these improvements over the next few days, so please check back if you don't see them yet. We're also going to continue upgrading all our other features from Search and Maps to Gmail and YouTube," read the post.

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