Home Google+ Adds Stream Noise Controls, 50 Admins Per Page & New Photo Interface

Google+ Adds Stream Noise Controls, 50 Admins Per Page & New Photo Interface

In what sounds like its last announcement before the holidays, Google+ has shipped one of its best updates yet. It addresses the noisy the stream with a slider at the top of every circle, allowing users to adjust the volume of that circle within their overall stream. It also adds more information to the notifications menu and makes new events easier to understand.

In a big update for organizations, Google+ Pages can now have up to 50 administrators. Notifications for pages have been rearranged to support multiple managers. Finally, the lightbox for Google+ Photos has been redesigned, improving comments and tagging while keeping the image as the center of attention.

Instead of little, unexpected new features or tweaks to the existing interface, this update improves some of the main components of Google+ in ways that make the service more usable overall.

Stream Noise Controls

The Google+ stream is a noisy place. Someone I follow on Twitter called it “information Tetris” (I’d love help finding attribution for that), and that is an apt description. The stream doesn’t stay in place; when new content appears, it bumps the rest down, even if you’re hovering over something. That will still happen after today’s update, but the volume slider for circles will at least help slow down the most prolific circles.

Clearer Notifications

Google’s own blog post pokes fun at the glowing red notification box for Google+, which is now plastered across all Google Web properties.

The tab that drops down was designed to make it possible to view and act on G+ social events without leaving what you were working on, but the messages were cryptic, saying little more than “so-and-so did something to your post,” requiring users to click through and see, anyway.

Today’s update adds sneak previews of the new information, just enough of a new comment to see whether it’s worth clicking through. The notification tab also now displays how many +1s and shares your posts have gotten since you last checked.

Key Improvements To Brand Pages

Google’s launch of pages in November was a big deal for brands. In Google’s new world of social SEO, a Google+ profile is an essential way for a business to show up in personalized searches. But at the time of launch, Google+ pages could only be operated by a single user, which isn’t the way many organizations control their online presence. Today’s update allows up to 50 moderators per page.

The update also changes notifications for pages, so that these 50 people can all stay in the loop. For the benefit of both admins and visitors, there’s also a new, simple metric displayed on the page, aggregating how many people have engaged with it, whether through +1’ing or encircling.

Nice New Photo Interface

Photos have been a killer feature of Google+ since launch, especially for Android users. Today’s update retools the Web interface for viewing photos to improve the social parts – tagging and commenting – while keeping the photos in the center of attention.

Are you using Google+? Is it becoming a part of your online life?

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