Google+ adds much larger cover photos

Google+ has just rolled out a new feature that allows for much larger cover images — up to 2120 x 1192!

gm-gplus

They’ve also streamlined the editing process and added a new “local reviews” tab to business pages.

Details can be found on the GreenMellen blog.

New Pan and Zoom feature for high-res photos

Google+ has long had an awesome photo feature, and it just got a bit better.  You can now pan and zoom small areas of high resolution photos on the desktop version of Google+. According to Google’s Dave Cohen:

Google+ is full of amazing photos, and today we’re introducing the ability to pan and zoom when viewing photos from your desktop. To give these features a try, simply open a large photo in the lightbox, then:

- use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out
– click and drag to pan right, left, up or down

Higher resolution photos will offer more to explore, so we’re excited to launch pan and zoom just weeks after launching full-size backups of your Android photos (http://goo.gl/KRpjE).

Photos are certainly a very important aspect of social media, and this is a great new feature from Google!

Big update to the Google+ iOS app

Hot on the heels of the Google+ Android app update last week, Google has pushed out an update to the iOS version as well.  New features include:

  • Instant Upload!  This has been one of my favorite features in the Android app, and it’s finally on iOS.
  • The What’s Hot stream.
  • Shake your phone to send feedback.
  • Various bug fixes and performance improvements.

You can get it in the iTunes app store here.

The video below is a reminder of why Instant Upload is so awesome.

Easily add text to your Google+ photos

Google just added a cool little feature that allows you to add text to your photos after you’ve uploaded them.  It works very simply; just click the “add text” link below your photo, as shown here:

The feature is rolling out over the next few days, so you might not see it yet.  For more, check out Colin McMillen’s post on Google+.

Infinite scrolling in Google+ photos

A cool new feature today, brought to us by Google’s Roshni Malani:

Hi, I’m +Roshni Malani and I’m a software engineer on Google+ photos.

Today, we rolled out a feature to view your photo albums more easily in Google+. The feature is called “infinite scroll” and it loads more photos from the album into the webpage as you scroll down. That means no more small page numbers to find, just scroll through all of the amazing photos in your albums. One of my favorite albums to scroll through is +Thomas Hawk‘s http://goo.gl/SVaAQ.

This is just one of the many ways we are working to improve your photos experience on Google+. Thanks and we look forward to your feedback!

Google+ auto-upload from Android will blow your mind

Last night, my mind was officially blown.  I’ve been using the Google+ Android app for a while now, and the way it auto-uploads photos is great.  Last night, though, I shot some video clips of my daughter on my phone.  I thought that it would auto-upload them, but I wasn’t sure.

When I got home and logged into Google+, there they were.  Uploaded, processed and ready to share.  It took about 15 seconds to share them — clicked “share”, selected my “friends” and “family” circles, added a sentence about the video, and shared them.

Here’s the cool thing: No cables, no uploading, no memory cards, no syncing.  It just worked.  Brilliant.

Customize the photos in your Google+ profile

Colin Welch has put out a great guide on how to customize the photos on your about page.  I tried it out on my profile and it worked pretty well.  I did it somewhat like Jill Whalen, with four photos of my face and one with a logo.

It’s a fun little trick!  Colin has built a very nice guide on how to do it, includes a Photoshop template to speed the process along.  If you don’t have Photoshop (like me), you can still do it yourself.  The individual images are 125×125, and there is a 13px gap between each one.

If you build a cool one for yourself, leave a comment and show it off to the rest of us!

More tweaks to the privacy on Google+

This was posted by Google’s Shimrit Ben-Yair regarding some minor privacy tweaks.  These are the kinds of little updates that need to be squared away before the site goes public, so it’s good to see them working on it.

Thanks for all the great feedback everyone! We’re paying special attention to privacy-related issues, which is why we’re rolling a new improvement to Google+ over the next few days.

Changing your public profile picture or scrapbook photos will no longer generate a public post to the stream, just to the people you have in your circles. So only people in your circles will engage in discussions about the photos you post.

Now I’d like to see them add a feature to mute shared posts when the different people share the same hot post over and over.  Coming soon, I’m sure…

Google will retire Blogger and Picasa brands; moving them under the Google+ brand

If you needed more proof that Google is taking Google+ seriously, Mashable has some big news — Blogger and Picasa will be renamed to match the Google+ brand.  Blogger will become “Google Blogs” and Picasa will become “Google Photos”.

To be clear, nothing bad will happen with Blogger or Picasa, as they’re just being renamed.  The transition will take place over the next six weeks or so.  A fun sidenote in the post is that the public launch of Google+ will happen on or before July 31, so less than four weeks away.

This makes perfect sense to me, especially with Picasa.  Most people know what Blogger is, but I’m guessing most of your typical users have no idea what “Picasa” even means.  “Google Photos”?  That makes perfect sense.

Other brands are likely to be rebranded as well, though Google has said that YouTube will remain as is.

Google+ is a very good place to share photos – just ask Thomas Hawk

I’ve followed Thomas Hawk’s photography for years.  He’s quite active on Twitter (@ThomasHawk) and has a huge presence on Flickr with over 20,000 contacts.

(fun side note: I randomly connected with him in a “hangout” in g+ a few nights ago.  Such a great feature.)

Thomas recently ran a test where he posted the same photo to five different places:

  • Google+, where he has 1,861 followers.
  • Flickr, where he has 21,125 contacts.
  • Facebook, where he has 3,161 friends.
  • 500px, where 1,558 people subscribe to his photos.
  • Twitter, where he has 19,285 followers

He wasn’t able to track photo views in most of those locations, but he could track interactions (likes, comments, etc).  At the end of the day, Google+ provided far more interaction than any of the others, even though he had far more followers at some of them.  Why?

It could be because it’s new and people are playing with it more, and while that might be part of it, Thomas tends to think that the awesome lightbox that display photos on g+ are a major factor.

Of course, time will tell.  After the newness of g+ starts to wear off and more people join, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with users like him.  Be sure to check out his full post for more details on the experiment.

What do you think was the reason for his success on g+?