Google+ Adds New Features – What’s Hot, Ripples, and Creative Kit
By Christopher Weaver

If you haven’t visited Google+ in awhile, maybe you should go back and check out the cool new features. Google has just introduced 3 new features that increase the usefulness of the platform.

The first upgrade is called “What’s Hot” and its purpose is to help you see what is going on in the world that is Google+. Typically users get contained in their bubble of friends and extended circles, however, What’s Hot will display the most popular current posts from all users on the network. This could be a very useful feature, except in my short experience using it I have noticed it is for the most part animated images and funny posts. This is not a bad thing, but definitely doesn’t give the user any real “important” information. Look below your circles list, and above your saved searches (or Sparks) to locate What’s Hot.

Secondly we have Ripples, which is just a way to view how a post was shared. This feature is very intriguing and sets Google+ apart from the other social networks that don’t allow this functionality. To see how a post was shared, find one that is public, click on the options menu in that post and select “View Ripples”. This will show you a detailed diagram of who shared the post, who viewed the post, who re-shared the post, who viewed the re-share, and so on. You can also watch an animation of the sharing in action, which is pretty awesome.

Example of a shared post's Ripples

The last feature update to Google+ is called the Creative Kit which enhances your capabilities to edit/adjust photos. We’re talking much more than just cropping. You’ll be able to change the exposure, the colors, sharpen, resize, or add a cool filter right from your Google+ account. To access these features, go to an uploaded picture on Google+, click on it, then go to edit, and then Creative Kit. Now you’re all ready to attack your photos with the goodness Google has bestowed upon you.

[Google Blog]

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