Google is once again trying to enter the world of social networks, announcing it will be bringing back to life the on again off again Google+. Albeit, in another form.
Only a few months ago, Google said it was stripping features from Google+ to offer “a more focused” experience, a move many experts saw as the first part of a complete shutdown of the feature.
That focused experience meant that users no longer needed to have the mandatory Plus account to make use of Google’s popular features like chatting with contacts, creating a YouTube channel or sharing content. However the changes did not really grab the attention of social networkers like Google had hoped.
Now Google’s Director of Streams Eddie Kessler, says the company is “introducing the new Google+”, which is a redesign aimed at improving the user experience.
He says the features which are “front and centre” of the new design, are two aspects of Google+ that are already popular among users – communities and collections. Communities allow the site’s users to group together around common and shared interests. Collections allows individual users to group their posts together by topic.
Social networking watchers say that the new features will ensure Google+ is less of the confused Facebook copy it launched as, and more focused on sharing and connecting over specific interests, which Kessler says is “everything from Zombie Cats to Vintage Calculators”.
Ironically however, in its attempts to be unlike Facebook, Google+ will now be similar to sites like Pinterest and Reddit, although it will give the company a chance to encourage more dedicated users by becoming the go-to location for conversation about a particular interest.
But as in most ventures, there is a financial objective here as well. In its new reincarnation, Google+ makes it easier to sell adverts aimed at users already cemented together through common interests.