Google+ rolls out major redesign

Google+ has undergone its first major redesign to better highlight what it claims are the unique features that differentiate it from rivals Facebook and Twitter.

The revamped Google+ enables users to customise the way the site looks by dragging applications to different places, making it easier for Google to understand its customers’ preferences.

Google+ has enhanced its version of the news feed, so users can scan and join discussions more easily. The site has also rolled out “full bleed” photos and videos that make it more attractive to post media, which tend to rake in higher engagement levels than text-only posts.

Hangouts, Google+’s video chat facility, has also been upgraded with an “always-updated” list of invitations from friends and quick access to every public and on air Hangout, which makes it easier for users to connect “face-to-face” with celebrities or brands as well as other people.

Brands also have extra opportunities to be discovered by users with the introduction of a new “Explore” page, similar to a tab of the same name on Twitter, which allows consumers to discover trending topics.

Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president, says in a blog post that the changes accelerate its efforts to create a “simpler, more beautiful Google”.

Google claims its social network now has more than 170 million registered users, although not all of these are active.

Last month Google+ launched its first above the line UK marketing activity, designed to tempt lapsed users back to the site.

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