Google has given its social network, which now boasts 170 million users worldwide, an overhaul in an attempt to make it easier to use.

Changes have been made to the layout of profiles, including the introduction of a cover photo almost identical to Facebook’s Timeline, the navigation ribbon, hangouts, the way videos and photos display in the ‘stream’ and the way conversation are displayed, among others things.

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The navigation ribbon has been moved from the top of the screen to the side and now features dynamic applications that allow users to drag apps up or down to change their order, display a set of ‘quick actions’ by hovering over apps and hide unwanted apps.

Hangouts, a group video chat feature, have been moved to a dedicated page to create more opportunities to connect by highlighting lists of invitations, access points to public hangouts and live broadcasts, and a rotating billboard of popular hangouts, tips and other items.

The conversations feature below posts has been revamped to encourage greater participation by showing images and videos in full bleed, using a stream of conversation ‘cards’ that make it easier to scan and join discussions, and adding an activity drawer that highlights the community around your content.

There is also a new ‘explore’ page that highlights trending content from across the network and a new chat list down the right hand side of the page. According to Google’s blog, the improvements will be rolled out over the next few days, if they haven’t already hit your account.

 

See the changes on Marketing mag’s Google+ page.