Friday, 17 May 2013

Top 5: Why I like Google+ more than Facebook (part 2)

I know what you're thinking, "Another post about Google+ ??". I can't help it. After +Google I/O and all the cool updates, I can't help but be excited. Google+ has improved so much it's no wonder my friend +Mohammed Nabil Mahamad decided to give it another try. A tech journalist I follow, +Taylor Martin spoke of how his followers list increased by 300 people in a week. Google+ is growing and it doesn't look like it will slow down any time soon. I've given you 5 reasons before, and here are 5 more reasons why I enjoy the experience on Google+.

5. New content alerts
You know how after you spend minutes scrolling down looking at what's in your feed, you think to yourself "I wonder if there's any new posts I haven't seen yet". On Google+ there will be a small indicator to the left of your feed indicating how many new posts have been added to your feed while you were scrolling. One click on this indicator and you're right back at the top of your feed with the new posts there for you to see.
Clicking the blue button on the left will bring us back to the top of the stream

4. Easier tagging when replying to comments
On Facebook we can reply directly to comments on a post but this only works in posts by Pages, not individuals. On a status update by an individual, we normally reply to someone's comment by manually tagging them by typing in their name. We can do the same on Google+, we reply to specific comments by tagging the poster of the comment, but instead of manually typing in a name, each comment has a "reply" button. Clicking it will automatically tag that person in our reply. Neat stuff.

3. Built-in photo editor
Not only does Google+ support instant uploads (similar to Dropbox), but there is also a built-in photo editor now too. You can either manually edit your photos before uploading them, or have Google+ do it for you. And burst shots can now be converted into GIFs. Auto-Awesome.


2. Automatic-hashtags
Hashtags work on Google+ but not on Facebook. That's already a win for Google+. In addition to that, Google+ can now automatically add hashtags to our posts by analysing the words in our post. Meaning we don't even have to add hashtags manually. One more thing, auto-hashtags work with photos too. During the demo at Google I/O, a post with an image of the Eiffel Tower generated an #EiffelTower tag by analysing the image. The words "Eiffel Tower" weren't even mentioned in the post. Genius.
Examples of auto-hashtags from my posts

1. Dynamic card layout
The dynamic layout changes
depending on what we want to do 
Google are making all their services and products as consistent as possible from a design perspective. Which means, more cards! Google+ is now a clean multi-column stream of cards instead of just a single column of posts. There are no sponsored ads, no promoted groups, and no sidebars in view. The sidebars are all hidden. A menu in the left sidebar appears when we mouse over the icon, no matter how low in the stream we are. The same for the chat (Hangouts) sidebar. Hidden initially, pops out when we click the icon. Cards in the stream are not static, they are dynamic, meaning there are animations that occur after actions. Cards can flip and move around based on what's happening in the stream, which is really nice. 

These may seem like small improvements, but the many small improvements add up to provide a fun user experience. And that's what social media is all about. Having fun. I believe Google+ will continue to grow and will really give other social media platforms a run for their money. If you haven't given it a try, I suggest you hurry on over.

PS: Be sure to click on the images to view them in a larger size.