Google+ has rolled out new features for its profile and pages. The new features include a “Local” reviews tab and larger cover photos, one day ahead of Facebook‘s big News Feed announcement.

On Wednesday, 15 May 2013, Google announced in a Google Plus post that users will gradually start to see some new features added throughout the social network. The announcement was made at Google I/O annual conference in San Francisco.

What is new with Google Plus?

Now you can like photos and +1 buttons. Users will be able to highlight reviews and favorite restaurants. Users can also hide this option can via the settings button.

Members can also see larger cover photos with a better aspect ratio. Cover photos display 2120 pixels by 1192 pixels at a 16:9 ratio when fully expanded. Google said:
“This way more images can be used as cover photos, and there’s more room for your selection to shine.”

Google has also made it easier for users to edit information via the About tab, which includes options to edit Education, Work, Links and Places. You can still share specific fields with certain circles or keep them private.

Multicolumn Stream

Streams are about to become more dynamic and beautiful. Now Google is getting smarter about helping you discover more content you would be interested in based on what type of content you are posting.

Mobile users, as well as web users, will be able to see a new stylish stream that is “less flat,” with larger images that match profiles’ recently introduced large-and-in-charge cover photos, and animations as they navigate different parts of the page. For example, if you click on “share what‘s new”, it will shuffle all the posts in the stream and the share box will bounce to the front and center of the page.

Also, Google is introducing powerful photo editing and photo storage tools to manage your media.

Photo Editing and Storage

Some of the new and most noteworthy features of the new Google+ are powerful photo editing tools.
1.Auto-enhance: This feature uses skin softening, tonal balancing, color correcting, and contrast, among others, to turn amateur images into professional photography.

2.Auto-awesome: This is another feature that animates photos shot in burst mode or in quick succession.

3.Highlight: This feature is mysterious but magical! From all of your vacation photos, Google will choose the best picture on the basis of image quality (like how clear or blurry it is), who is in the photo (using facial recognition), and affinity (a crazy algorithm based on millions of image ratings to determine what is beautiful and which people, you want to see in your photo library).

Hashtag Discovery

Posting on Google+ is similar to Twitter and Tumblr where users can add hashtags to their content to make it more discoverable or to add it to an ongoing topic of conversation.

Hashtags are getting a lot of love in the Google+ update with a new “related hashtags” feature that helps users dig a little deeper into the things they like to do. After clicking on a post‘s hashtag, the card will swivel around and display other relevant hashtags and more content tagged under that topic.

Even if a post is not marked with a tag, Google can identify popular points of interest in an image (like any historical monument such as Tower of Pisa) and even suggest tags. You can disable features disabled in correspondence with your privacy settings.

Apart from these, new Google Plus has more to offer. Counting all the new features coming with Stream, Photo sharing/storage and hashtag discover, the total number is 41.

What is your feedback on the new design and new features of Google Plus? Share with us.

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