Today Google launched new versions of Google+ for iOS and Android, featuring significant improvements to photos, posts, and Communities.
The biggest new feature is the addition of Instagram-like photo filters — made possible by Google’s acquisition of Snapseed. Now when you share a photo, you can do basic edits like rotate and crop, as well as select filters like “Drama” and “Retrolux.”
Photos are powerful storytelling tools, but marketers should also be aware of the changes made to posts and Communities. For posts, viewers will now see more text up front, as well as more comments, making it possible to sift through as much content in a short amount of time. It’s also worth noting that image previews are rarely cropped, so choose your featured images carefully.
The update also made it so a single tap takes readers directly to your photo, video, or lightbox for your website. And if you’re sharing a lot of photos, your fans can swipe through an entire photos album without having to visit a separate album page. Metric counters will also appreciate the more prominent +1, reshare, and comment buttons.
For Communities, members are now able to adjust the volume of the groups that they’re a part of — meaning that if a certain Community gets too “noisy,” you can stop its posts from appearing in the main stream. If you have created a Google+ Community, this is a reminder to consistently share quality content to avoid being hidden.
Community managers will appreciate the new admin tools introduced in the update as well. In the past, there was no way to manage your Community through Google+ for iOS or Android. Now, moderators have access to search, content moderation and report, and remove and ban features.
Both apps will be available later today from Google Play and the App Store. If you’re a heavy Google+ user, the updates should have a significant impact on your mobile experience. Like Facebook, Google will continue to tweak the overall design and functionality of Google+, on both desktop and mobile. It can only get better (we hope) from here.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.