I/O 2013: Google Plus getting 41 updates

Hangouts is getting some treatment similar to Facebook Messenger with its own app rolling out.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Continuing to scroll through the product portfolio at Google I/O on Wednesday, Google Plus is getting a major overhaul 41 new features across Hangouts, Photos and a newly designed "Stream."
With a focus on promoting and organizing content across multiple columns, the Google Plus team described that the new stream is about "design and depth."

In reflection of just how vital hashtags have become to social networking, Google Plus is getting a new feature dubbed "Related hashtags," analyzing the content of a post and Google will designate the appropriate hashtags.

Users will then be able to flip Cards (similar to what is available on Google Now) and see content based on related topics as well as current locations.

These new changes will begin rolling out to all users starting today.

Hangouts, arguably one of the more popular functions on Google's social network, is being broken out into its own mobile app, also launching today.

Much like the Facebook Messenger app as well as Apple's FaceTime and iMessage, it offers Plus members a chance to communicate with more contacts at once away from texting and voice plans.

As for Photos, Google is expanding upon the Instant Upload feature and relying more heavily on the cloud. More pointedly, Google Plus team members remarked, "Your darkroom is now a datacenter."

Many of the updates and additional features for photo editing build upon the Picasa toolset for improving image quality, color, and auto-enhancements.

The update that garnered the most applause from audience goers was an area referred to as "Awesome," which basically taps into the GIF craze with a Vine-like video builder.

Editorial standards