Google+ hasn't lived up to its full potential as a social network developed and promoted by Google, one of the world's largest and most innovative organisations. However, the US-based tech giant isn't giving up on the platform.
On Tuesday, it began the rollout of a completely redesigned Google+, one that will focus on the Communities and Collections functions of the platform, according to a blog post by Google's streams director Eddie Kessler.
Launched in 2011, Google+ technically has over 2 billion users -- since everyone with a Google account automatically gets their own page on the social network. However, in April it was estimated by Stone Temple that as much as 90 percent of its users have never posted anything on the platform. Using data from 516,000 accounts and extrapolating findings to the 2.2 billion-strong "userbase," the consulting agency estimated that Google+ had around 212 million active users. For comparison, in September Facebook announced it had reached over 1 billion daily active users.
Kessler said in the blog post that Google has been "listening to what people using Google+ had to say," and concluded that Communities, which allows users to join groups that discuss hobbies or passion areas, and Collections, which sees users compile posts on areas of interest like health and photography, were the two most engaging functions on the platform.
The new Google+ redesign, he said, would put Collections and Communities front and centre, making the social network more about shared hobbies than Facebook-like interactions with friends.
The overhauled version appears to be in beta mode, with Google allowing users to opt-into the new design on the web and Kessler promising changes over a period of months. Eventually it will be available in its complete form on both web and mobile platforms.