2013 was the year of Google Plus updates. While all the Internet services have their plans to improve over time, Google+ is all the way ahead in the race. The social network rolled-out a new update every week but which were the top 5 Google+ updates of 2013? Let's take a look:
Auto Awesome Pictures & Videos
Auto Awesome is a great idea, which was announced at Google I/O. The original Auto Awesome photos had:
- Mix (collage of similar photos that were taken together)
- HDR (created when bracketed exposures are detected by Google+)
- Pano (landscape photos of the same spot at different angles are stitched together)
- Motion (to create moving GIF by using the still images of a moving object)
The Google+ team continued to roll out more Auto Awesome features in October 2013. Some of these include:
- Action – The auto awesome photos showing the movement of object in one photo
- Eraser – Automatically removes the objects, which are creating noise in a series of images (people or vehicle etc) to create a clean image
- Auto Awesome Movie – The feature takes images and videos from an event and automatically put them in a movie. Transition effects and music are also a part of the auto movie creation
The last update for 2013 came in the month of December. Users can now turn the images taken with lights into a twinkling GIF and a photograph with snow into a GIF with snow falling.
Merging of GTalk and SMS Texting into Hangouts
Google announced the merging of Hangouts, Google Talk, and Google+ Messenger at the annual Google I/O conference. The application allowed seamless chatting (one-on-one and group) in any device that a user chose. Google has continuously made improvements in the Hangouts by integrating Google Voice and other services. Users also received an update announced on October 30th enabling them to receive text messages through app on Android.
Redesigned User Interface
The profiles and brand pages on Google+ saw a major update to user interface. New features rolled-out included:
- A brand new "Reviews" page
- A refreshed "About" page
- Bigger cover photos
- Updated "Photos" profile tab with new card layout
- Tweaked Pages dashboard
Google+ brought in a minor refresh in November, cropping the size of oversized cover photos a little bit. Google+ Stream also received a change and was turned to one, two, or three columns with Google Now-like cards. Google also introduced a new hashtag system, wherein, it automatically added hashtags to the posts on the basis of the content present.
Integration of YouTube
The integration of YouTube and Google+ in 2013 was highlighted by the new link on the Google+ Page, its YouTube channel, and new Google+ commenting system on YouTube. Along with this, a few smaller integrations were also made including:
- Addition of YouTube stats to Google+ Pages Dashboard
- YouTube Top Fans
- Inclusion of YouTube channel subscriptions in Google+ Suggested User List
Google+ Sign In
The announcement was made in March last year, which enabled users to sign-in to the applications and websites by using their Google+ identity. The best thing about the update is that it allows users to use same security such as 2-step verification that Google offers for the applications that they like. Along with this, users were able to download the apps directly from the developer's website, instead of going to Google Play first.
As Google+ is narrowing the gap with Facebook's competitor, we can expect an increase in the usage of Google+ Sign-in in 2014.The Top 5 Google+ Updates of 2013!,