Google+ Rolls Out Design Changes ahead of Facebook ‘New Look’ Launch

Google has just begun to roll out some significant changes to Google+ profiles that bring bigger cover photos, a whole new look for the “about” section, and a new tab for your reviews.

Google+ has rolled out new features for its profile and pages, including a ‘Local’ reviews tab and larger cover pictures, one day ahead of Facebook’s big ‘News Feed’ redesign announcement. Photo: Google Inc.

Google+ will look a little different starting today. Google Product Manager Sara McKinley introduced a few new features today that she says users have been asking for.

The company announced in a Google+ post on Wednesday that users will gradually start to see some new features added throughout the social network.

In an update posted by Sara McKinley of Google on Wednesday, February 6, she gave a brief overview of some of the new features

Among the changes is a new tab for local reviews — a move in line with Google’s efforts to expand local search across its platforms.

The new design places more emphasis on photos and looks more like Facebook. There is also a new Local tab that takes users to reviews of restaurants and other businesses in their communities.

Members will also start to see larger cover photos with a better aspect ratio. Now, cover photos display 2120 pixels by 1192 pixels at a 16:9 ratio when fully expanded.

To put the immense size of these photos comparative to your screen, take a look at the new cover photo in our screen shot above.

With this size McKinley encourages users to get creative with their cover photos and says, “more images can be used as cover photos, and there’s more room for your selection to shine.”

Your “About” section has also received an update. It’s a completely new design that puts all of your separate pieces of information into their own color-coded cards. Each info card features its own “edit” button as well.

For the privacy concerned, rest assured that each of these cards are governed by your custom privacy settings that you can set to determine what circles do or don’t see your personal info.

There is one new tile that’s not technically part of your About background information: Apps.

The new Google Single Sign-on that allows websites and apps to use your Google credentials to create profiles and sign in will record what apps you’ve used in this tile for future reference.

It’s similar to the logins using Facebook or Twitter, and those services offer sections within their platform to check where you’ve used the sign-in as well, writes Business 2 Community.

Google also added a new tab called “Find People.” Much like Facebook’s Graph Search, it makes it easy to find people a user might already know.

For example, someone who writes for a certain website will see thumbnail pictures of other website writers with a number indicating how many people they have in common in their circles, says Examiner.

Lastly, a new “Reviews” tab has been added to the top of your profile alongside the ones for your +1s, YouTube videos, photos, and posts. As you would imagine, this tab houses all of your Google Local reviews.

“Highlight your favorite restaurants, or hide the tab completely via settings – it’s completely up to you,” says Google.

“Everything’s rolling out gradually, so check back soon if you don’t see it yet,” McKinley said. “Once it’s live (at plus.google.com/me), let us know your thoughts in the comments!”

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