Google+ makeover: What's new and what to expect


Google+ was long before considered dead by many tech and social media analysts. Even in 2014, an article was already posted on TechCrunch about the looming death of the search giant’s take on social media. 

However, a few weeks ago, Google surprisingly did a makeover of Google+. It looks like it is still hoping that it can lure back it’s 90 percent of inactive users to be fully social with their service again. 

Centered on the mobile ecosystem, the new design puts mobile users of this social media service in priority while offering new services and also breaking off other useful ones. 

A new service called “Collections” features groups of people who share the same interest. For example, a user may follow a collection of a photographer who specializes in flower photography.

Another change that is brought about by this reboot is the users’ ability to use other services (like YouTube) and not be required to create a Google+ profile for it. As of writing, comments made on YouTube will no longer appear on existing Google+ user profiles.

In an interview with Forbes in February, Chief Executive Officer of Google Inc. Sundar Pichai said that Google+ was never a dead ecosystem. He pointed out that it was primarily the portal to other Google services, thus creating a more unified experience all throughout the many services they offer. 

Pichai also revealed the Google+ useful services like Hangouts (similar to Facebook Messenger) and Photos (Google’s cloud-based photo gallery and vault) might have a separate mobile app and website of their own, breaking them off from the actual Google+ social service. 

This separation of services may further cause users to turn away from the Google+ social media platform. At the moment, the Hangout and Photos apps are doing well globally, as it has already surpassed 1 billion installs from the Google Play market since June 2015. 

On the other hand, Kevin Krewell, who is a principal analyst at Tirias Research, suggests that Google is really positioning this rebirth of Google+ to take on Twitter by stripping off unrelated services and becoming a modern version of Instagram at the same time through the introduction of “Collections.”