Google+ has recently unveiled a number of upgrades to improve their photos, Hangouts and video features. So why should we care? As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, Google+ often plays second fiddle to other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Well, brace yourselves– Google+ currently has 540 million active users.
Now while this number may pale in contrast to Facebook’s estimated 1.26 billion users, it is still higher than the number of active Twitter users, which is estimated at about 231 million. Even more impressive is that the number of monthly Google+ users has risen an incredible 72% from 390 million users in May.
It is worth noting that daily usage of Google+ is generally perceived as being lower than other social networks. However, given that Google+ is considered the “social fabric” of Google, it has garnered much importance in the SEO and search engine marketing communities.
Let’s take a look at these recent Google+ updates:
Google+ announced updates to photo editing and options. The update makes it easier for users to enhance photos. Also, another upgrade for photos is Google+ can now automatically choose the best photos from those uploaded to display. For instance, Google+ can choose photos that emphasize people you are connected to on Google+ and common landmarks.
Google+ has updated their video capabilities, which includes the ability to have HD video chat and Hangout broadcasts (Hangouts On Air). Additionally, Google+ users can create movies from video clips.
Finally, the update also included location sharing, allowing Hangout users to share their location with other users. In addition, Hangouts now supports gifs and SMS messaging.
According to Google, these updates are intended not only to make Google+ easier to use but also to make users have a more authentic presence online. We’ve already seen Google’s move toward increased user authenticity with features such as Google Authorship. The relationship of Google+ and SEO remains important and Google+ should not be overlooked when setting up your social networking profiles.