Thursday, September 1, 2016

Say “Hello” or “Goodbye” to the New Google+

In November 2015, Google announced that changes were coming to the Google+ social network. They made a new Web version available for users with an option to switch back to the Classic version

Well, starting in September (I believe September 12, 2016), the Classic version will be put to rest and all users will be forced to the new Web Google+.

Since the new Web version came out, I’ve tried it, on and off several times. However, I mostly stuck with the Classic version for many reasons. 

For one, I prefer the smaller sized, two-column layout. Also, I found that when sharing posts, it was easier, on the Classic version, to add them to Collections. Most of my posts that include an embedded YouTube video, somehow have the thumbnail all skewed up. 

Google Hangouts will also be gone, being replaced with YouTube Live, but not via the Google+ platform. And finally, the new Web Google+ no longer has Events. It has been removed and we most probably won’t see it back. This has left  many Google+ users frustrated and I can understand why.

Well, it’s not all bad, if you can handle what’s left of new Google+ social network. You will now be able to post Photo Comments as well as include a link when responding to comments. There is a new Notifications Center which will be a full-screen notifications page which I believe will be further enhanced. 

If you have a wider screen, you will be able to display a 3-column layout. If not, you will see a 2-column layout which can be customized to a one-column layout, if you wish. Also, Communities will have improved capabilities, giving moderators more control to deal with spam and the like. 

You can check this Google+ Post from Luke Wroblewski for a full list of the New Web Features. Below is a video that highlights some of these key changes and gives you a look at the Classic version compared to the new Web version of Google+:

Back in May 2015, Google launched Google Photos and in August 2015, photos from Google+ were migrated to Google Photos. Earlier, in July 2015 they announced that Google+ would be decoupling from YouTube. From the outside looking in, it seems like slowly, but surely Google has been tearing Google+ apart. 

Google is known to abandon apps as it has done in the past. I spare you the details, but I’m hoping that Google+ sticks around. I know Google’s social network hasn’t really gone mainstream (so to speak) compared to Facebook. 

However, I do like using Google+ and was actually disappointed when they decoupled from YouTube. I found that interface between Google+ and YouTube very practical and useful, especially with regards to managing social interactions via comments on my Tutorials YouTube Channel.

We can expect to see more changes in the coming months as feedback continues to pour in. Make sure to use the Feedback form, on your Google+ profile, to make your voice heard and hopefully Google will give heed to our feedback. 

It’s difficult to please everyone, but I’m hoping that Google+ remain a decent and use-able social media platform. So with everything said and done, will you say “Hello” or “Goodbye” to the new Google+ social network?

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