It’s no secret that Google+ has been struggling as it tries to connect with users. It has been a difficult few years as Google tried to compete with other social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit. With its recent redesign and the addition of a few new features, Google hopes to boost the platform’s user base in several different ways. Here are some changes you might see the next time you log into your Google+ account.
Many users had asked Google to add a “Communities” feature, to allows users to connect with others based on their interests and hobbies. Whatever your interests may be, the new design makes it much easier to meet people who share those interests. Over 1.2 million users have started using the new Communities feature every day since its introduction—a major change from the somewhat isolating feel of Google+’s “Circles.” The overall Google+ community has always been its strongest point, and this new feature allows a greater sense of connection.
Also geared toward users’ interests and ways to connect with others, the Collections feature of Google+’s new design allows users to find content based on topics that they might be interested in. This is a great feature that social platforms like Facebook and Twitter do not offer—users are solely reliant on what their friends and connections post rather than what they might be inclined to read. The Collections feature is supposed to resemble Pinterest in the way that groups of users can post on a specific topic and share it with the public or with just friends. It’s an easy way to group content and to make it easier to find while providing a social experience.
Google hopes to create a different kind of social platform unlike what users might currently be using. While over 2.2 billion people have a Google+ account, fewer than ten percent of users have ever posted anything on the site. Many Android phone users (or those with YouTube accounts) were required to sign up to continue using the services, though the platform was rarely used for what it was actually built for. A new homepage design now allows you to not only see what your friends have posted, but also some posts that you might be interested in.
With a new design, Google executives hope to start over with a clean slate. Wrobleski writes, “While this is an exciting new beginning for us, we’re definitely not done yet.”
By not trying to do the same things as Facebook and Twitter, but rather by adding community-oriented features similar to Pinterest and Reddit, users are more likely to appreciate the benefits of Google+’s design and what it has to offer. This makes the Google+ relaunch one that may offer more of what users are looking for, in a different kind of social platform.