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!

Google Apps accounts can now use Google+ (and a bunch of other goodies)

Today is quite a day for Google+.  The big news is that Google Apps users can finally use their business account to access the service.   Here are a few other neat items.

A new “what’s hot” button:

 

“Ripples”, to see how posts spread:

 

“Creative Kit”, to have more fun with your photos:

All in all, it’s quite a day!  What’s your favorite new feature?

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.

How to transfer all of your Facebook photos to Google+

If you’ve decided you want to stick around Google+ for a while, or if you simply want to take advantage of the unlimited storage space in Picasa, you’ll likely want to transfer over your photos from Facebook.

Fortunately, it’s quite easy!  Head over to picknzip.com and it’ll help you export them all out.  Once you’ve downloaded all of them, just head over to Google Plus and start posting!

BuzzingUp.com has a full write-up about this technique, including some very helpful photos.

Quick Tip: Drag and Drop images to share them

Here’s a quick tip that we noticed from Gerard Sanz: To add photos to a post, just drag them from your desktop or folder and drop them into the Stream editor. Voila!