At the recent Google I/O Conference in San Francisco, the world’s most popular search engine unveiled a slew of changes and updates to its fledgling social network. Google+ is second to Facebook in terms of registered users but has a long way to go before it catches up to Twitter in terms of activity.
The collective changes to Google+ amount to a complete redesign. It borrows visual cues from Facebook and Pinterest. It has responsive design elements in the sense that the number of columns displayed will adjust to the screen size of the device used to browse the network. Another upgrade consists of smart hash tags that Google+ automatically adds to user-generated content; these tags unveil related online information in a similar fashion to Twitter’s hash tags.
Instant slide shows and automated photo-editing features are also among the updates to Google+. Just like the useful “I’m feeling lucky” feature of Google’s own social photo-sharing network Picasa, Google+ offers an instant and automatic photo enhancement based on several algorithms. These features are bound to please Google+ members who are photo enthusiasts but have limited time to edit pictures.
San Jose business law attorneys who think that Google+ is just a bold attempt to nip market share away from Facebook would be surprised to learn about the direction the network is taking. For legal professionals, Google+ might be a cross between LinkedIn and Facebook.
An important observation made by the Google+ development team is that members are spending quite a bit of time on the network engaged in activities other than social endeavors. In this regard, Facebook clearly outpaces Google+ as the network of choice for meeting new people and cultivating relationships between friends and relatives. Whereas LinkedIn is all business, Google+ comes across as a social network for people with interests beyond the social realm.