You don’t have to go far in the online world to hear about Google+ now and having gotten my own invite yesterday I have been exploring it for myself. Apart from the obvious features I wrote about in yesterdays post ‘Is Google+ Really Ready to Battle in the Social Media Arena?’ I’d like to add that Sparks is a great alternative to Google Alerts and being in Google+ it is so easy to switch to gmail, calendars, tasks etc etc It really is a great little hub that I see increasing my productivity! Add this to all the new announcements of changes coming out I have realised that Google+ itself is merely the beginning for the future of Google.
The Googleverse has certainly been rolling out alot of new updates over the past week, first the +1 button which at first seemed completely pointless, then made more sense when Google+ was announced. Now they have been busily making changes, albeit mostly cosmetic at this stage, to many of their Google services that has really brought to my attention Google’s much bigger plans. In an announcement Google stated “The way people use and experience the web is evolving, and our goal is to give you a more seamless and consistent online experience — one that works no matter which Google product you’re using or what device you’re using it on.” So what are some of the changes that are happening already?
First of all there are the cosmetic changes to Google Calenders. If you have a look it today it has a distinctive Google+ feel now and looks really clean and easy to use. They have basically just moved the location of some buttons, increased white space and Print and Refresh buttons are no longer links but icons. You can read the announcement of all the changes here.
Then you have the changes that are to be expected to Gmail which Google announced in another announcement. You can try these out now by changing your Gmail theme to ‘Preview’ or ‘Preview dense’. These are just what they call ‘sneak peak’ but it will be the default theme very soon, or a similar version will be anyway. If you look at my screenshot below you will also notice in the top left hand side the +Louise which takes me straight to my Google+ account.
Finally (for now) there are the additions to Google Analytics which will now track Tweets, Likes and +1’s which is about time! There are a number of steps for implementing this plugin and adding +1 functions to your posts so I will leave it to Google to show you how to do that as their announcement is quiet detailed.
So I think that Google+ is merely the tip of the iceberg or perhaps a better description would be that it is the new base to which everything else will feed off and operate round.
What are your thoughts on these changes? Have you heard or seen any other changes?