With just over 24 hours to go until Facebook’s big News Feed update, Google+ has rolled out some changes of its own. Starting today, members will have access to much larger cover photos, a Local Reviews tab, and simplified profile editing.
You’ll notice that cover photos are much larger than before. You can now choose images with a max resolution of 2120 x 1192, and they’ll be displayed in 16:9 when fully expanded. “This way more images can be used as cover photos, and there’s more room for your selection to shine,” explained Sara McKinley in Google’s announcement. You can see the new dimensions on YouTube’s Google+ Page.
While Google+ doesn’t have the same cover photo requirements as Facebook, we still recommend choosing your image carefully. Because a much larger area will be taken up by your Google+ cover photo, don’t select an image that will deter an individual from spending more time on your page. For example, a very text-heavy image could come across as too promotional or spammy and people won’t want to scroll down.
Editing personal information is a lot easier as well. The About tab is now made up of separate cards — such as Story, Places, and Links — each with its own prominent edit link. Sharing options haven’t changed, meaning that you can share specific fields with specific circles, or keep them private. This is definitely more important to individual members and not businesses or brands.
And finally, Google added a shortcut tab to the Google+ sidebar for Local Reviews. Assuming members are rating businesses through the search giant’s products, their reviews can easily be found in a new tab next to photos, +1s, and YouTube videos. Of course, this is in addition to the website where the actual review exists.
If you’re managing Google+ Pages for clients or your own business, you’ll definitely want to make note of the new cover photo specs. The other two updates are aimed more toward individual members and profiles. Changes are rolling out gradually, so you might not have access just yet.
[Image credit: Victor Bergmann]