Many Google plus users were welcomed recently with the some new design changes. First impressions are, “I can see a lot more content”, which is great for both the user and also businesses. In some aspects, the new layout reminds me of Pinterest, I believe this is because of the focus of images and staggered posts. This does make the network seem much more fun and I can honestly say I can see myself spending more of my online time on this platform.
So as a business, what can we take away from these changes to improve and adapt our current strategies? Well, from previous experiments, media content performs better than standalone text, bearing in mind that Google Plus is beginning to look a little bit like Pinterest, it is safe to assume that this is the case.
I think we will see a definite trend in media content outranking the performance of text. Based on what I have seen of this new layout, it seems as though the network was built to emphasise images. This being said, it is likely your regular text updates are going to be lost under a sea of media.
Moving forward, we need to begin adding relevant images to our updates, this will enable content the best opportunity to capture the attention of our audience.
This is also the case with links- ok we get shown a little thumbnail, but these images are dwarfed when put next to your standard images. A great way to overcome this is by uploading an image, either from the site you’re linking to, or a relevant one of your own to the update. The link within the post will still be clickable and now you have an image to help capture more attention.
New Layout, New Design
This isn’t the first time Google’s redesigned G+, and I daren’t say it will be the last. With the new layout, there are a few changes to our designs on our own profiles that we must make the most of.
Profile pictures would be the first port of call. In the last update, we saw that our profile picture that could be found on our cover photo had turned into a circle. Throughout the rest of the network, it still remained a square. This is no longer the case, a lot of pages are still acting as though they have the full square and a lot of their logo is being cut off. If you can modify your logo to include the circle as an intentional part of your design, it can look really modern and fits very well with Google +. Simply scaling your image down will ensure that your whole logo is visible.
Cover photos are also constantly changing and is the bane of a lot of designers’ lives, purely because the dimensions keep changing. We find a good basis to work on is somewhere around 1024 x 579. It’s important to remember that the image will resize dependant on the device or screen size it’s being shown on, so for the best user experience, make sure the image is of a high resolution.
All in all, I feel as though these changes are going to have a positive effect on the network. It will help to create a better experience for the users and more opportunities for businesses. This could potentially change the way we as marketers manage our social media strategy but it’s likely that it will evolve into something much more effective.