Google Plus has been redesigned again. I logged in this morning to discover this screen popping up to greet me.
The main difference is that the navigation menu has more colourful icons. Instead of being greyed out and not noticable, they stand out more. I guess one problem of the previous layout was that many people didn’t realise the navigation menu was there to take you to different areas of Google Plus.
Navigate around Google Plus from the home page
The left hand navigation bar disappears once you are using the account, only popping open when you hold your mouse over the Home link at the top.
Bring conversations to life with hangouts
By default the Hangouts menu is open, but you can click on the green icon in the top bar to hide it and create more screen space.
Make your photos look better
Click on hashtags to explore related posts
This one is highlighting a new feature. Hashtags have been made more prominent within the posts that appear in your Stream.
Also, Google automatically adds related hashtags to your posts – a feature that you can turn off in Settings, if you like.
Recommended posts – that you can turn off
Some posts appear in your Stream with this at the top. These are promoted posts, a bit like the Sponsored posts in your Facebook Timeline. However, unlike Facebook, where you cannot prevent Sponsored posts appearing, in Google Plus you can go to the What’s Hot section and set how many items you see or turn off the feature.
How do you log out of Google Plus?
When you scroll down the page to read content, the top bar containing the search function and your notifications disappears, leaving only the Google Plus navigation menu. In order to log out, you have to scroll to the top of the page to reveal the top bar again.
Other features of the new Google Plus layout
- The layout is now easier to understand, with content on white boxes over a greey background. This makes it easier to differentiate between different items of content.
- The top navigation on the Stream shows your top circles, so you can easily filter content posted by people you follow within specific Google Plus Circles – which are exclusive to you, don’t forget.
- The Edit Settings section is now in the main left hand navigation, at the bottom. Open the menu and then use the in-menu scrollbar to scroll down to the Settings link.