Google’s ailing Google+ platfom is getting a major facelift today as the Internet company continues to struggle for relevancy in social. Today, a brand new Google+ design went live and it puts the Communities and Collections features front and center.
You should see a prompt to try out the redesigned interface when visiting your Google+ profile through a browser. Revamped Google+ mobile apps for iOS and Android devices will hit in the coming days.
Revamped Collections and Communities
“We’ve drastically simplified nearly every aspect of the product. You’ll see this clearly in our new navigation centered around Collections and Communities,” explained Luke Wroblewski, a product designer with the Google+ team.
Collections are selections of posts on a given topic from like-minded individuals that people can interact with, share, comment on, contribute to and more. Google+ Communities enable groups of people with the same interests to join up and geek out on anything.
Here are a few screenshots to give you a feel for the overhauled interface.
In addition to the refreshed design in Communities and Collections, the new Google+ experience includes several user-facing improvements.
For starters, it’s now easier to post, search, connect and keep up with your favorite content in a fully redesigned home stream. Perhaps most importantly, this new Google+ loads a lot faster and is significantly more performant on my 2013 MacBook Air compared to the previous version. Oh, and Google+ now scales to any screen size.
What about mobile apps?
Google says the new experience is now more mobile-friendly.
“We’ve rebuilt it across web, Android and iOS so that you’ll have a fast and consistent experience whether you are on a big screen or small one.” As mentioned, logged-in desktop users must opt-in to see the overhauled Google+.
Not every feature of Google+ has made its way into this new design so if you want, you can easily toggle back to the classic Google+ with a click in the bottom left-hand corner.
As for the mobile apps for iOS and Android, they’re receiving finishing touches and will be pushed to app stores around the world in the coming days.
“We’ve worked hard to make our new web experience load fast and work beautifully on devices of all sizes,” ensures Google. In my personal view, the new experience is indeed prettier and easier on the eyes but also more cumbersome to use.
You now have to do more clicking even though everything is now conveniently in one place. There are also a couple of rough edges that should be smoothed out before the new design rolls out to everyone.
Following a major corporate restructuring at Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc., and the decoupling of Google+ from the rest of Google services, the ailing social network is now basically three services: Streams, Photos and Sharing.