Google+ Brand and Personal Page Updates

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Google has begun rolling out some formatting updates and other profile changes to Google+ today, as indicated by Google+ Product Manager Sara McKinley. According to Sara’s Google+ post, the following changes will slowly roll out starting today:

Updated About Tab

The ‘About’ tab now consists of separated sections (e.g., Story, Places, Links, Contact Info). Information can be easily updated by clicking an Edit button in each section. All fields are the same though; there are no new fields for enhanced or additional information. As always: you can share specific fields with specific circles, or keep them just for you. This is for both brand pages and personal pages.

Local Reviews Tabs

In addition to your photos, +1’s and YouTube videos, there’s now a place for all your Local reviews. You can highlight your favorite restaurants, or hide the tab completely via settings. This is only for personal pages, but may drive awareness of reviews and ratings for local businesses if users begin to leverage these highlighting features.

Larger Cover Photos

Cover photos are much larger than before (up to 2120px by 1192px), and they display in 16×9 when fully expanded. You can create one large image, or create a sort of collage with several smaller images. This format also removes the issue we were finding with the profile photo overlap, which cut off a large portion of the cover image in the old format.

For Google+ Local Pages (formerly Google Place pages), the cover image defaults to a Google map with a pinpoint at the location of the business. Clicking on map cover image takes you to Google maps where you can get directions.

Nice to see Google putting some energy into Google+ again, especially after all the buzz last summer that only slowly died off. I wonder if it means they have a renewed interest in the platform itself (and not just how it impacts search results) moving forward. I predict we’ll start to see more changes here soon. Or maybe we won’t actually see them, but will start to feel them as Google further integrates Google+ into it’s platform.

What are you thoughts on the new changes, and what they mean for Google in the near future?

 

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