Google Plus turns two: Celebrate with new tools and features!
The two years since Google Plus launched have flown by, with millions of people making use of features such as video chat hangouts, circles and messenger.
The social media website's hangout tool was most notably used by President Barack Obama, who sat down with Americans from across the nation on February 14 to discuss his State of the Union address.
First Lady Michelle Obama also got in on some of this action earlier this year, taking part in her first hangout to talk about fitness, healthy living and general wellbeing, as part of her Let's Move initiative.
While Google Plus may still be considered as a young'un compared to Twitter and Facebook, the social platform is still a force to be reckoned with.
Including Google Plus in your social media strategy is a no-brainer if you already use services such as Gmail or Blogger, considering the social network's easy integration with these tools.
You can also take advantage of better search (it is developed from Google after all!), better game implementation and better photo gallery features.
In a Google Plus Developers blog post, product manager Raj Iyengar revealed several new features, including the launch of the new Follow button.
This standalone plugin lets visitors follow you on Google Plus from your website, integrating easily with your existing social buttons.
Google has also revealed changes to badges for pages and profiles, with these now being highly customisable.
You can choose to have your badges in portrait or landscape mode, in a light or dark theme, or turn off items such as the cover photo or tagline.
The existing badges will stay up for 90 days, giving you time to put together a new version for your website.
A new visual style, including +1 and Share buttons, will be updated automatically over the next few weeks, so expect a better looking Google Plus soon!
Posted by April Revake.