Google updated their social network, Google+ this wednesday with a new layout, features, and other visual goodies.

Now when you log on to Google+ you’ll be greeted with a new layout that seems to use a lot of whitespace; leaving a column of icons down the left side of the screen to navigate.  These icons can be rearranged by the user to their preference.  One of those icons, Explore, is a new addition where the user can view what is popular on Google+ at the moment.

Google+’s chat features have been moved to the right side of the screen where a user can easily see who is online and start a “hangout” video chat session.  To the left of the chat section, one can find a list of things that are trending on Google+, which I think is an awesome addition and maybe the most interesting part of the update.  With this new trending column, Google+ seems to resemble a combination of Facebook and Twitter in one.

Though Google has updated their social network, and certainly added attractive features, it’s hard to tell whether the public will even care at this point.  While Google+ has many accounts, it seems that the social network has become old news and personally, my news feed is quite bare.

I think Google has done a great job with this update, but I’m still not 100 percent sure if it’s enough to make me begin using their social network more often.  In a world where Facebook is dominating the social networking scene, any competitor is bound to have a difficult time gaining attention.


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