Google+ has been growing quickly, but hasn’t managed to be able to drive traffic as effectively as Facebook or other social networks.  Some of the 18 new features Google recently announced, however, may help to change that.  The following changes and additions to the social network will undoubtedly make existing users happy, attract new users, and hopefully start driving traffic from the network.

New Features for Photos

The following features were put in place for posting, sharing and viewing photos.

  • Eraser can identify and remove background images
  • HRD Scape filter will allow users to edit photos quickly and easily
  • ‘Action’ allows users to apply a strobe light effect to a series of photos
  • A new paid program, Analog Efx Pro, allows for advanced photo enhancements
  • Full-size backups are now available for pictures taken on iOS devices
  • Full-size background sync is now available for photos taken on iOS devices
  • You can now search photos by subject (sunsets, college, family, ect).  To facilitate this, Google+ is now able to identify objects in photos.
  • Customize auto enhancement options to help improve the auto fixes applied to your pictures
  • Option to skip auto enhancement on specific folders.  This is important for people who have already performed image enhancement on some pictures using another program.

New Features and Enhancements for Google+ Hangouts

Hangouts have always been one of the biggest features of this social network, and they are getting eight important feature updates, which are:

  • Automatic webcam lighting improvements will help fix complaints some people had about poor quality presentations
  • Moderators can now mute or eject participants of live events using control rooms
  • Video calling on both mobile and desktop devices can now occur in full-screen
  • Participants can send maps of their location in real time with advanced location sharing
  • Animated GIFs are now available
  • SMS sharing allows users to send and receive texts without changing apps
  • Scheduled Hangouts On Air feature will help improve planned live events
  • Live events now can have dedicated watch pages

Video Improvements

Just one improvement for videos and that is to allow users to use photos, videos and music to create custom digital films.  There are also options for visual effects and transitions built in, which allows for some very creative results.

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