Google Plus got a few more fun features today in addition to workplace ones. There’s a new feature called What’s Hot that surfaces popular posts (don’t call them “trending”), and a very cool visualization tool called Ripples that lets you watch Plus conversations flow out across the network. These are neat ways to track social activity that Facebook and Twitter don’t offer.
Google Plus is very proud of its photo features, especially the instant uploads from Android phones, and today’s Plus update also adds new photo editing tools called Creative Kit. It has basic editing tools as well as filters like everybody has these days.
What’s Hot On Google Plus
What’s Hot appears underneath new posts inside the main stream as well as in the Sparks area on the left sidebar. It’s a new way to discover content on Plus that makes a nice algorithmic complement to the right-now real-time search tool. Discovery on Plus is now nicely positioned between the ways Facebook and Twitter work.
Ripples: Watch Sharing Happen
Ripples is a sexy feature that lets you visually follow the flow of a conversation. It even incorporates some analytics. That’s much more data than other social networks give casual users about their posts. Very Google-y. Visual representations of data are catching on at the Googleplex. The Google Analytics team also recently introduced a flow visualization tool.
Creative Kit for Photos
Google touts 3.4 billion photo uploads as its favorite metric of the success of Plus. When Android users (who have turned on Google Plus) take a photo, it uploads automatically, so that’s sort of cheating. The photos are kept private until a user decides to share them on Plus, which then makes them visible instantly. If Google talked about how many photos were shared, then we’d have a real sense.
Today’s update gives Plus users some tools to spruce up their photos, which may increase sharing as users get more excited about photos. Trendy filters and Halloween gimmicks aside, Plus users can do much more with photos now.
The editing tools are desktop-only for now, but I’d put money on them coming to mobile apps soon.
What do you think of these new Google Plus features?