Social Media River Blog

Archive for the Google Category

Google+ Improves Layout Design, User Interfaces and Overall Site Usability

Google+ has launched a redesign of its pages with an emphasis on much needed improvements in usability.

The most significant change is a reorganization and redesign of the social media site’s navigation. The menu bar now displays as column on the left with large icons that clearly indicate the section one is in. Additionally, the improved navigation makes it now more user intuitive to switch between personal Google+ page and company Google+ page. This task was extremely cumbersome in the prior version of the navigation.

Additional changes to mention are improvements to hangouts, integration of the Picasa photo editor, new Explore page, and a slider feature in circles.

As far as the new design is concerned, there has already been critical remarks about its odd whitespace on the right side and the obvious mimicking of Facebook with the new profile banner.

The official Google+ promotional videos puts a happy face to these changes:

Google+ For Businesses Will Integrate With Other Google’s Business Products

Christian Oestlien, a product manager at Google+ pledges in this video that Google is indeed planning to open its Google+ doors for businesses and brands later this year (2011). Oestlien is asking for patience by reminding that Google prefers that users hold off from using consumer profiles to get business identities in Google+. As outlined in our earlier overview about Google, Google+ will be acting as a mortar between various Google’s business services. For instance, Oestlien mentions that business owners will have the ability to connect Google+ identity to other Google products that businesses are using such as Google AdWords.

Google vs. Facebook: Who Is Bigger May Be a Matter of Definition

Google Vs. Facebook from Column Five on Vimeo.

Comparing social media giants with infographics is a growing trend. This video showcases the early steps of Google+. When comparing Google with Facebook, the video sometimes compares Google as a company to Facebook, and sometimes Google+ social media site to Facebook. While this can be confusing it is also a reality of competition over definitions: Google tries to build dominance with integrating and networking its Google family products and services to the Google+ experience. The difference between Google as a company with various products/services and Google+ as a networking site is not completely solid but up to an interpretation. Google may win the award for a biggest company while Facebook still holds an exclusive lead in the social networking numbers.