Google+ Joins the Photo-Editing World

Enhanced Photo Editing capabilities makes Google+'s update worth looking at. In addition to expanded photo editing features, Google+ has added a more robust library of filters and editing tools that reside inside the app. Taking advantage of enhancements provided by Snapseed, users are now able to rotate and crop pictures and add popular filters such as Drama and Retrolux. Improvements include adjustments to saturation, contrast and other levels. A refresh added to the content stream of the Android app is a handy improvement that simplifies the editing process.

The posts have undergone a transition as well. They now include more room for text content and images usually do not require cropping. Activities such as re-sharing, commenting and +1 enjoy more spacious amenities per post. Users can also spend more time sorting through a collection of photos with a lot fewer click-troughs.

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Big Changes With Google+...Literally

Millions of Google+ users are being met with a prompt that directs them to their Profile pages where they can significantly enlarge their profile's photo. The new photo size, 2120 pixel by 1192 pixel, offers users the opportunity to replace the current profile cover image to a more robust footprint. Google describes it as “room for your selection to shine.” Of all of the updates made to the

Google+ app, the super-sized profile images are the most notable. However, closer scrutiny reveals a number of additional upgrades designed to enhance the pleasure of your visit to Google+. In addition to its new look, users will find a better-organized page with less clutter. Local reviews, for example, are now found in a section called “Reviews” in your “Profiles” page. As with all tabs, Google+ provides the option of hiding your new tab that you may not wish to share. Conversely, the feature can be employed to publish your favorite bowling alleys.

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Web Chat Meets Hangout

Google Hangouts are gaining in popularity not only among private groups who wish to chat collectively, but as a a viable medium for politicians, celebrities and others who wish to bend the public's ear. With Hangout, it does not require the use of satellite trucks and miles of cable to beam images across the globe. Google Hangouts is one of the latest services being offered by the the search engine icon and is rapidly becoming an alternative to traditional broadcasting. Google Hangouts made a big splash at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last year when it was used in lieu of the more mainstream media as a vehicle with which to get the word out from political pundits participating at the event.

However, unlike mainstream media, Google Hangout is not the exclusive purview of a few privileged media personalities or well connected pols.  Hangout is accessible to anyone who has an interest in sharing their views with an audience large or small. The screen consists of boxes within the frame containing the live feed of those participating in the discussion. Essentially, Hangout serves as a TV station utilizing a computer and camera to ”broadcast” online around the world.  Although the quality may not match the quality of a full blown TV station, users are learning fast how to create studio quality lighting and produce shows that only recently was the exclusive territory of major media entities.

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Sign-In With Google+

Google is engaged in an uphill battle as it challenges Facebook's massive social network with its relatively new Google+ Sign-up. Although a direct assault on the Facebook's shear numbers is untenable, Google's strategy to penetrate the Facebook's dominance via third party apps by using Google Identity to log into multiple platforms. Google's strategy is to connect its fledgling social network to promote Google-related products and services. Google rolled out its new Google+ Sign-in which allows third party developers to expand Google+ authenticity, sharing and interaction into their apps. This strategy encourages viewers to utilize the Google + Sign-in as an entry point to sites such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Apps. Google+ Sign-in acts as a key into a prolific and expanding list of websites, clients and apps that become the virtual connective tissue underpinning the very fabric of the social universe.

Due to be released last week, the global authentication scenario also encourages cross-platform sharing for approximately 135 million active users taking advantage of Google+ Sign-in with the visitor's social network credentials morphing into portable identities that can be used to sign into all websites and services. Google sees this as an opportunity for web developers to link the overall Google experience with their specific applied apps. By enabling Google+ Sign-in, their products are subject to full access Google's API. The feature then transfers information such as full name, profile picture, Google +Id, age, range language and people in their Circles and other info requested by the app.

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Join Your Community

Google has recently rolled out its new Google+ Communities, a platform for both private and public group who can congregate among themselves to discuss topics of mutual interest such as sports, video games, neighborhood gossip…you name it. The new feature supports Google’s desire to employ the internet to create real world interaction among fans. The common interests of each community runs the gamut from astronomy to Goth. Google + provides community meeting centers where like-minded individuals can converse and express the enthusiasm of their shared passions. Users have the option of joining either a public group or starting their own. Each group has the opportunity to launch a video chat on the platform for their community.

According to the company, Google + is skyrocketing in popularity. Google estimates that 253 million people have become active Google users. Activities include Google+, Google Play, gmail and connecting with friends. 133 million of those are active just in the search engine’s stream. With Google +, the company has succeeded in taking what was essentially Facebook functionality and re-engineered it into a social network hybrid that is superior to its social network rival.

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