Google announced new features for their social networking arm, Googe+, which users would surely appreciate.
New photo features
According to Andrew Lee, a Software Engineer on the Google+ Photos team, since the service launched, they’ve been receiving requests from users to add features to it like the ability to view photos in a slideshow and the ability to download full albums. The Google+ Photos team revealed that both features can now be enjoyed in Google+.
To view a slideshow, just click on a photo, open a photo in the lightbox, hit the slideshow button and you can sit back and enjoy the show. Or you can open an album, click on the slideshow button and you’re off. If you get impatient waiting for the next slide or you want to go forwards or backwards, just hover your cursor and a left and right arrow will appear on the side of the slide. There’s also a pause and stop button at the bottom of the slide. Click here to get a glimpse of Google+’s slideshow feature.
Another useful feature lessens the frustration around individually downloading photos from an album of hundreds. Good thing Google+ now lets you download complete albums with just a few clicks. If you want to download the full album, all you have to do is click on the “More” button, which will open up a dropdown menu that contains two options: “Report Abuse” and “Download Album”. Try your album downloading skills here.
If you can download photos and complete friends’ albums, others can do the same with your photos. But if you don’t want people downloading your albums, click here, to change your Goolge+ settings. In the Photos section, uncheck the “Allow viewers to download my photos” option to keep them from being downloaded by anyone.
Google+ is finally catching up with Facebook and Twitter as they are now rolling out custom URLs. As in you may soon see your name on your Google+ URL instead of numbers like celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, David Beckham and Britney Spears and brands like Toyota, Delta, and Hugo Boss. Google hopes this move will entice more people and brands to use Google+ as custom URLs.
“A custom URL is a short, easy to remember web address that links directly to your profile or page on Google+,” said Saurabh Sharma, Google’s product manager, in a blog post.
The custom URLs will be offered to a limited number of verified profiles and pages but will soon be available to more brands and individuals.
Music to my ears
Google+ Hangouts On Air has been another venue for up and coming musicians to get traction and connect with their fans. Some artists have even held concerts on Hangouts. The problem with Hangouts is that it’s made for conversing, not playing music, so the audio quality of Hangouts concerts isn’t that great. So to cater to all the music lovers out there and artists using Hangouts for album launches, Google+ Hangouts now has a Studio Mode that optimizes audio quality for playing music. Hangouts concerts will now sound like it has been recorded in a studio. The great thing about this is that users don’t need to do anything to enjoy the Studio Mode. Click here to see the difference between songs played in Studio Mode and those that aren’t.
Good for business
Google is not just your typical social networking site that connects people with businesses or brands to consumers. Google is putting great effort in the business side of Google+ to increase brand awareness to help drive more consumers to their doors. Earlier this month, they’ve made two huge steps that are now helping brands gain traction.
First, they’ve acquired social media marketing startup Wildfire to help brands manage their ads across multiple social networking sites. The second is the integration of Google+ to Blogger – a service that lets users share their thoughts, increase reader-base, and fosters audience engagement. Blogger now has a new Google+ tab in their dashboard that lets users share their post to the growing community of Google+. Bloggers can now connect their blog to a Google+ profile or page, notify readers when they publish a new post and allow them to recommend or share posts, and have a deeper relationship with readers.