Google+ gets visual analytics, photo editing, popular post spotlights

The Google+ social network has expanded its feature set with new analytics visualizer, in-browser photo editing and a page to see what's popular on Plus right this second.

Obviously, the big news with the Google+ social network today is its newfound availability to Google Apps domains. But that's not all Google had under its belt: today also brought a series of Google+ updates that bring a visualization tool to see how popular posts get shared, a browser-based photo editing tool and a way to see the most popular posts of the moment.

Google+ Ripples, the aforementioned analytics tool, is designed for those who want to see how a popular post moved across the network. Just click "View Ripples" on a public Google+ post, and you can see a timeline of comments, +1s, and shares, zoom in on certain events, and spot the top contributors. Google has put a demo on YouTube, for the curious.

The goal of Ripples, according to Vic Gundotra on the Official Google Blog, is to "help people re-live those conversations—both to rekindle that initial excitement, and to learn how posts flow across the network."

Meanwhile, "What's Hot on Google+" is fairly self-explanatory: it's a new page designed to spotlight the most popular posts and topics on the network in a way that seems fairly similar to Twitter's infamous Trending Topics. For users, it's right under your list of Circles on the left side of the Google+ homepage.

But for my money, the best new feature is the Google+ Creative Kit, a web-based photo editor with some basic but useful, functionality like photo sharpening, layering text, or adding Instagram-esque photo filters. Essentially, it's designed to bring your photo sharing game to the next level. You can see a video demonstration here.

There are also some limited-edition Halloween effects available on the Google+ Creative Kit now, and they're having a casual contest to find the best holiday-themed photo - just hashtag your photo with #gplushalloween and you're entered.

Google seems bent on making Google+ a success, no matter what the odds may be. And who knows? Maybe with enough of these iterative updates, Google+ will eventually turn into the solid, innovative, unique social platform that Google so clearly wants it to be.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All