Google+ brand pages were introduced in November and were received with much excitement by the marketing and business world. However, they did fall short in a few key areas. Earlier this week, Google+ announced some important upgrades – both to brand pages and user profiles – that will enhance user experience and make the site more essential to online marketing.
Multiple page manager functionality
When Google+ launched brand pages, they did so without the capability of multiple page managers or shifting page ownership. As of December 20, however, you can now have a team of up to 50 people controlling your organization’s Google+ presence. You can also transfer ownership of the page from the original creator to any other page manager. Page owners and page managers have the same powers over the Google+ brand page, except in two areas: only page owners can transfer ownership and delete the page. Whenever a change is made to the page, all the other page managers and the owner will receive a notification detailing what was changed.
Aggregate +1 count
Before this week’s brand page updates, your page showed two different number counts: people who had added your page to circles, and people who had given your page a +1. Google has not made these two different actions any less confusing, but they have combined the two number counts into one total that is now shown on your brand page.
This makes it easier to get a brief overview of how many people like you and your content, regardless of whether or not they’ve added you to their circles yet. Since Google+ is still in relatively early stages, many people won’t understand the difference between a +1 and adding you to their circles for a while longer.
Pages will now have the capability to receive notifications on interactions, like comments, mentions, +1s on posts, and post reshares, making brand pages function more like individual user profiles. As previously stated, page owners and managers also now receive notifications when others associated with the page make edits. Google+ has also improved notifications for individual users. Instead of just reading “Person One commented on your post,” you’ll now see a preview of what Person One actually said on your post.
“Volume control” for streams
You can now control how many stories you see in your streams from each of your designated circles through a new feature called volume control. By sliding a ball on a slider to the right or the left (much like how you control the volume on most electronics), you control the “volume” of each of your circles. You can opt to show all, most, some, or no posts from each one of your circles.
Google+ has also given a makeover (and a new name) to their photo galleries, now called Lightbox. Lightbox brings “improved navigation, enhanced comment legibility and better overall utility” to the photo experience. The on-screen photos are larger with a hide-able comment section. They’ve also added seasonal tools to the creative photo kit, just in time for holiday albums.
Have you tried any of the Google+ updates yet? Add us to your circles on Google+ to make sure you stay updated!