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Google Delivers Revamp Of Google+

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Not retiring it after all. Search engine revamps social network platform to focus on interests rather than people

Google+ has been given a facelift as the search engine giant looks to continue shifting its focus away from people and more towards personal interests and communities.

Google said it made the changes after listening to what users were asking for.

Communities And Collections

Google’s answer to Facebook was launched back in June 2011, but it never captured the number of users that Facebook has.

googleplussquareIndeed, as Facebook’s growth continued unchecked, it seemed that Google+ was being quietly retired by the search engine giant. Matters were not helped when Vivek “Vic” Gundotra, the man responsible for Google+, announced his resignation in April 2014 amid rumours that Google was scaling down its social networking project.

Google also angered many users when it integrated YouTube accounts with Google+. It later reserved that decision.

“Since we last posted, we’ve spent a lot of time listening to what people using Google+ had to say,” explained Eddie Kessler, director of streams in a blog posting. “There were two features they kept coming back to: Communities, which now average 1.2 million new joins per day, and Collections, which launched just five months ago and is growing even faster.”

“And so we’ve reimagined Google+ to help them do that,” he wrote. “Today, we’re starting to introduce a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and centre.

“Now focused around interests, the new Google+ is much simpler,” he said. “And it’s more mobile-friendly – we’ve rebuilt it across web, Android and iOS so that you’ll have a fast and consistent experience whether you are on a big screen or small one.

Home Visits

“Creating great products that solve real needs and make life easier for people is something Google is always striving for,” wrote Kessler. “Your feedback got us this far – as we continue to refine Google+, we’d love to keep hearing from you.”

Google also explained a Google+ posting that it had been visiting users in their homes to get feedback.

“We’ve spent lots of time talking to people who are passionate about Google+. We visited them in their homes, we invited them into early testing communities and we learned more about how and why they use Google+,” said the post. “The predominant answer? Having a great place to keep up with and talk about their interests.”

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