Services & Software

Google+ now lets you start a conversation from search results

Searching for a topic on Google+ now displays a "join discussion" box where you can enter a comment about that topic to trigger a conversation.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

The tweaks to Google+ keep rolling along.

Users of the social network can now start a conversation with other people directly from search results. Searching for a specific topic on Google+ opens a box called "join the discussion" where you can chime in with your thoughts about the topic in question.

Your comment then appears in your Google+ feed where other people can respond and potentially trigger an ongoing discussion. As with your regular posts, you can share your comments with the entire Google+ world or limit it just to specific circles. Your comment will also appear in Google+ results when other people search for the same topic.

For example, I ran a search in Google+ for Nokia and wrote a comment about Nokia and Windows Phone, which then kicked up a conversation thread about the topic.

Behond the latest "discussion" feature, Google has added two new tweaks to its Google+ mobile Web app.

You can now tap on a "What's Hot" link to pick up the latest Google+ posts deemed the most interesting. For example, the latest content displayed several posts about the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, aka SOPA. Further, you can view the names of all the people who +1'd a certain post to see who likes what.

Google is promising that these two new features will pop up in the Google+ iOS and Android apps.

Since turning the tap on its social network last year, Google has gradually been enhancing it with more options. Though few of the enhancements have been earthshaking by themselves, collectively they've been turning Google+ into a more robust and finely tuned service.