As Google Plus continues to gain popularity as a social network they have been investing a substantial amount of time into the user interface. In a recent article about Google Plus, we reviewed the design changes for the desktop version of the social network. This week, the Google Plus mobile app got a visual refresh and more desktop features are now available. Here is a list of the improvements to expect when you update the app, and a visual comparison of the old user interface to the new.
A visual comparison of the changes to the Google Plus iphone App user interface boasts a very sleek new navigation-landing page. The Google Plus stream highlights the posters’ profile image, making the author more recognizable while scrolling the feed. It is also easier to access the user’s profile information or company page information, with a single click on the profile header on the post. The new post view minimizes the text and link content in posts and highlights dynamic content like images and videos. Currently there are only a small percentage of user’s who interact in Google Plus via the Mobbile App, but perhaps this cleaner, more dynamic, enhanced view will attract and encourage more participation.
What are your thoughts about the new user experience? What other features from the desktop version of Google Plus would you like to see added to the Mobile App?
Unexpected design changes to Google+ pages and profiles emerged this week without warning to page owners. If you are not familiar with Google+ Pages, we included a diagram in a newsletter article,” What’s the “Plus” about on Google” earlier this year. The original page design was reformatted to include new navigation tools, a panoramic cover image, Explore page, and additional insights that drop down from posts. When Facebook announced the conversion to Timeline for Businesses, there was a one-month publish/preview option that gave companies time to design, and strategize how to use the new format before it went live. With Google+ apparently page enhancements and changes will simply be introduced when already implemented. Here is a review of what to expect when you log into your Google+ Business Page account.
Page design includes a Cover image, Explore page, and new navigation tools. Originally, there were five scrapbook images those images can now be replaced with a panoramic cover image that spans behind the larger profile thumbnail at the top of the page. The navigation to the stream, photos, circles, etc. has moved to a left hand ribbon – that is drag and drop customizable – and includes a new landing page labeled “Explore”.
On the Explore page you’ll find trending topics, recent posts, who to follow, and a “What’s hot on Google+” slider. Personalize the amount information from “What’s hot” shared on your home page with this tool.
Search results have a new look that promotes business pages. Google+ search results used to reveal posts with relevant keywords, then required sorting to view people/page results. A new results page format includes people/page results on the right side, and sorting options at the top.
User profiles get a new Hangouts page. Although this feature is not present within business page profiles, it is important to note the change in the user experience. With the new landing page for hangouts, users can see hang outs on air – hang outs that are recorded – or join hangouts in process.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of creating a Google+ Business Page for your company, or require a social media marketing audit to assess your performance within Google+, please contact us or call us: 800.787.0497 for help.
If you’ve explored Google+, whether from your personal account or the one you are using for your business, you’ve probably noticed the “What’s hot” button in the left-hand navigation. What is “What’s hot?” It’s another Google algorithm at work – selecting the most popular posts from across Google+ and compiling them into one place.
Currently, the “What’s hot” algorithm doesn’t take any personalization into account when displaying results. Although many of the posts may not be relevant to you, there are still the benefits of discovering new, interesting things and seeing what types of content are drawing everyone’s attention around the net.
That second point is important. The marketing benefits of getting your content featured as “hot” are great. You gain the potential of having your content seen, shared, and interacted with by the entire social network – even people who don’t have you in a circle. Being featured can definitely be considered a viral success. So, to appear in the feed, you must cater to user interests.
Google does not divulge what specific factors can push a piece of content into the “What’s hot” feed. However, a little observation and common sense indicate the piece has to have the makings of popularity. Nearly every single piece of hot content has an accompanying image and several comments. They also have lots of +1’s, as well as shares (although, these amounts may be skewed by appearing in the “What’s hot” feed – which will dramatically increase +1’s and shares just from sheer visibility).
By creating image based content that engages your users and invites a rapport with them, you increase your chances of appearing in the “What’s hot” feed. Monitor popular trends, and give your spin on it. As with all things SEO, quality content that considers the end user will win the day.