If you go over to Google+ today, you’re in for a surprise: things have changed. The platform is rolling out a number of design tweaks, changed its cover photo option yet again and inserted some cards reminiscent of the look of its virtual assistant, Google Now.
Google+ Product Manager Sara McKinley said that the changes were inspired after feedback from users who asked for changes in profile and business pages. But Google decided to implement them a day before Facebook announces its redesigned News Feed. Interesting.
The most noticeable alteration on Google+ is the giant cover photo space, which can accommodate images as large as 2120 pixels by 1192 pixels in a 16:9 ratio — a significant increase from the 950 x 180 strip that used to sit at the top of profile pages. They’re now so big in fact, that you may have to scroll down the page to actually see the user’s profile. The change already has a few users finding work arounds to revert to smaller images and creating cheat sheets to help brands make the most of the increased real estate.
The layout of the about tab has also shifted, as instead of one page with lines of info, each sub-category (like education or links) is now its own colour-coded card with a prominent ‘edit’ button if you’re logged in, making it easier to update specific information.
The team has also added in a new way to push the priority of its Local feature, by creating a dedicated tab for reviews of businesses and restaurants. But if you’re not into rating every meal and sharing photos of every creative shop layout, you can edit the settings to hide the tab.