Google continues to ramp things with their social initiative for business Google +. Along with some of the new features released yesterday, the most useful by far is the ability to designate managers for business pages on Google Plus. This is an effort to bring functionality that already exists with Facebook Pages. They are also toying with a new “on air” Hangout live streaming feature, but that’s a post for another day. For now, I’ll cover these new features briefly, why I like them, and how to use them.
More than that, Google is aggressively playing catch up, and responding to user input with meaningful changes that are intended to help the adoption rate of the 50+ Million social network.
A list of the latest features added as documented here include:
- Volume controls: Giving users controls of some connections who are too loud, and some that they never want to miss out on. Why I like it? Serves as a great way to bring down the noise from chatty circles. How? Select a circle under the Stream in the left hand side, and notice the volume slider bar in the top right of the stream. Adjust accordingly.
- Improved Notifications: This provides additional information even previews the social activity that
- has occurred since you last checked. Why I like it? Less clicks is more, not having to click thru a notification is time well spent. How? Just click the notifications window dropdown (highlighted red when there’s something new), and you’ll see the improvement.
- Google+ Pages: Ahh, this is where the bulk of frustration was for many business users… until now. Now you can name up to 50 managers to the page. Notifications work as expected. Totals of +1′s and Circled. Why I like it? Having claimed a page, but not being able to assign managers was a pain, and impractical. Solved. Notifications is something I couldn’t figure out why they didn’t include in the initial release. Solved. Aggregate counts of +1s and circles is important for many. How? Configure managers under page settings, Managers. Sweet. Notifications are in top right as with personal profiles. The total counts is just a change in what is displayed. The old way of doing things seemed fine, but certainly others saw it differently. See screenshot for counts.
Improved Photos on Google+
This one deals with the frustration of photo tagging on Facebook. Especially when it comes to images with a lot of people in it (at 0:50). I also noticed that when selecting an album you uploaded it has a tagging wizard that seems to be a huge time saver over the old way of tagging. Watch the new feature in the video below. Can’t see it? Go here.
Google has an uphill climb to begin to make a dent in Facebook, but with their constant stream of updates like this, coupled with their global commitment to improving the service, things may look very different this time next year.
What feature do you like most of this latest set of updates?