Google Keeps Trying with Google+

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Social with 17 Comments

Google Keeps Trying with Google+

While Google+ is about as relevant as MySpace or Apple Ping for most people, the search giant hasn’t given up. And this week, it’s updated its social networking service three useful new features.

“For the past few years, we’ve been doing a lot of listening on the Google+ team, and we’ve learned a lot,” Google’s Danielle Buckley writes. “Listening to your feedback inspired us to introduce a new Google+ focused on helping you connect around shared interests a little over a year ago. Your feedback led us to launch more than 50 updates across Android, iOS and web to ensure the new experience serves you even better than the previous one.”

That “new” Google+ debuted in late 2015 and was part of a big change that actually impacted me, as the firm split Google Photos out of Google+ and turned it into something special that I now use and recommend.

Since then, Google has rolled out tons of additional new features for Google+, and has added the service to the G Suite (formerly Google Apps) family of business offerings. But today, Google is announcing two new features for Google+:

Low-quality comments are now hidden by default. Low-quality comments—or “typical tweets” as we call them on Twitter—are now hidden by default. This means you no longer need to deal with the noise. Unless you want to, of course.

Optimized for different screen sizes. It’s not entirely clear what changed here—again, I don’t actually use Google+—but the layout has been updated to accommodate different screen sizes, provide more white space, and let you zoom into photos.

Events. Previously removed, the Events feature is making a comeback starting on January 24. “You’ll be able to create and join events on Google+ web as you have in the past,” Buckley says. “Please note that Events will not be available for G Suite at this time.”

Why so dismissive, you ask?

Google+ is the least successful of the modern social networking services, with about 111 million active users, a far cry from the billions who use Google’s other services. By comparison, Twitter has 313 million users, and Facebook has 1.8 billion. Even LinkedIn boasts 106 million users, and that service is only for businesses and those seeking employment.

Basically, I’m glad they keep trying. And you never know. But for now I don’t really see the point.


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