Google announced on Wednesday that it is rolling out a significant redesign for its social networking platform Google+, which will allow users to create a more customized experience on the site.
The company said it will introduce a variety of new features to the site in the next few days, from customizing apps and the navigation bar to more flexibility with profile pages and pictures. In addition, the update introduces a new Explore page that posts what’s interesting and trending across the site.
Google also noted that the social network now boasts more than 170 million users since it’s 2011 launch.
Google+ will now offer profile pages that will include bigger photos, a la Facebook’s Timeline, and feature a chat list that puts friends front and center on your page. Another major update involves how users can navigate around the news stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a ribbon of apps on the left.
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The ribbon allows users to drag apps up or down to create the order, hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions and show or hide apps by moving them out of the section.
“Taken together, these powers make it easier to access your favorites, and to adjust your preferences over time,” Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra wrote on Google’s Official Blog. “We’ve also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That. So stay tuned.”
A dedicated Hangouts page has also been added to the site, so people can have quick access to public and On Air video chat hangouts. This will allow Google+ users to meet new people and watch live broadcasts, as well as enter new rooms via a rotating billboard of Hangouts.
“It’s still early days, and there’s plenty left to do, but we’re more excited than ever to build a seamless social experience, all across Google,” Gundotra said.
What do you think of the redesign? Do you think Google+ will ever be able to compete with Facebook? Let us know in the comments.