Google+ adds much-welcomed features to Pages, activity stream and more

Google+ will add a few major improvements to its service over the next few days, including new activity stream controls, welcome changes to business Pages, better notifications and a dramatically better photo experience, the company announced today.

Despite contrary claims from Google, Google+ is a social network that competes with Facebook and Twitter for eyeballs. It has been rapidly adding new features to bring the network up to speed against the competition. One of the most significant changes was adding “Pages” for business and brands a little over a month ago, a heavily demanded feature for companies looking to socially connect with Google+ users.

Pages thankfully adds some features that were noticeably missing at launch. Google+ Pages can now have up to 50 administrators for a page, which enhances an organization’s ability to control it. Pages also now have a more powerful notifications flow to keep better track of how users are interacting with the brand, and there’s an aggregated count of users that shows brand +1′s combined with users that have added your Page to their Circles.

Three big improvements for everyday Google+ users have been added as well. First, users can now fine-tune the volume of posts from each Circle that goes into your stream. With a volume slider at the top of the page, you can, for example, make all the posts from your “Good Friends” Circle appear in your stream and only some of the posts from your “Acquaintances” Circle show up.

The other two all-user improvements include a redesigned notifications bar that is easier to manage and a better photo experience using Lightbox. The Lightbox photo program in Google+ now has “improved navigation, enhanced comment legibility and better overall utility,” according to Bradley Horowitz, VP of Product for Google+. The experience looks much better all around and its new photo-tagging abilities rival Facebook.

Three short videos that elaborate on the updates can be viewed below:


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