Google+ has undergone a radical overhaul and now has a fresher and cleaner look. It’s the first big change for the network since it’s launch in June last year. I find it way more easy to use than Facebook and LinkedIn and particularly like the ability to edit posts after they’ve been published…because I’m always making typos! With 6 of the latest changes outlined below it’s even more easy to use.
1) Profile picture changes – The profile pic has been moved from left hand side to a more prominent position on the right hand side. It should be a minimum of 250 pixels x 250 pixels but you can upload a larger photo which Google+ allows you to crop to display the right size image.
2) Cover photo is now an option – you can now replace the photo strip (which is now larger) with a Facebook style cover photo. Hover over the existing photo strip and select the ‘landscape photo’ option. The cover image needs to be 940 pixels x 180 pixels but like the profile picture you can upload a larger photo which G+ allows you to crop to display the right size image.
3) Main Circles on new nav bar – You now can now add two Circles to a top navigation bar which allows you to select them quickly for when you want to send posts to different audiences. Circles are at the centre of Google+ and allow you to communicate to different audiences – a major improvement on Facebook’s untargetted approach for Pages. To decide which Circles appear at the top go to Circles on the left hand side then drag the two Circles towards to the left hand side.
4) Hangouts are now more accessible – You can now fire up a Hangout via a menu icon on the new vertical navigation bar on the left hand side. Select the button to view Hangouts that are currently live – another nice new feature. Hangouts are a unique and great feature of Google+ – you can read more about how you can use Hangouts in a previous article.
5) Activity – It’s now easier for you to see who has +1’d or shared your content. Simply click on the +1 or Share icons on the bottom right of a post and the ‘activity’ for each post will be displayed. This includes thumbnails and names of each person who has engaged with your post. Select their thumbnail or name to view a profile.
6) New share button – There’s a new style Share button (see left hand side of any of my blog posts) that you can add to your blog or news articles to encourage Google+ users to share to their profiles. There is great SEO value in this – read Improve your SEO by sharing to Google+.
To learn more about Google+ and how it can benefit your business you can attend my next Google+ Masterclass in Cheltenham on Wednesday 23 May.