Making Sense Of Google’s New Social Stuff: Messaging, Hangouts & Google+

first_imgtaylor hatmaker Google Talk. Talk was Google’s Instant Message client. It’s also called Google Chat or “GChat,” by many people who didn’t even know it was called Talk to begin with.Google+ Hangouts. Hangouts was Google+’s group video chat service, from the social network’s launch back in 2011.Google+ Messenger: A product redundant with Google Talk, Messenger was Google+’s own IM client.Google Voice: Google’s cult-hit digital telephony client, Voice allows users to route all their calls to one phone number. Google Voice works for calls and texting both on desktop and on its much-neglected mobile apps for iOS and Android. Now, Hangouts becomes the messaging mini-umbrella under the social mega-umbrella of Google+. Hangouts, now available across desktop and mobile, will unify Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and the old Hangouts video chat service of yore. According to a statement from Nikhyl Singhal, Google’s head honcho of real-time communications, Google Voice will be folded into Hangouts too (Yay!), though there’s no word on when.Google+ Gets A Lot Of LoveMessaging may have been the messiest area of Google’s social services, but Google+ is the big umbrella that covers them all. Amidst the company’s epic 3-hour-plus Google I/O keynote yesterday, Google+ guru Vic Gundotra announced approximately one million updates to Google+, the social network that the company launched two years ago. Okay, he pegged the number at 41 … but that’s almost a million. For a full breakdown of Google’s social updates, hit the company’s official blog post or just cruise around in Google+ for a while. The social network has been the butt of many a joke over the last few years, and we’re happy to see Google take the time to spruce things up a little.Photos by Nick Statt for ReadWrite.  The updates are extensive. As a regular Google+ user, it’s actually difficult to get a sense for what changed, since the redesign looks and feels right in stride with Google’s recent overall changes in user interfaces that runs from Google+ to Google Glass to Google Now and Android. So here’s a list of some of the most notable of the 41 updates: A multi-column layout. This can be toggled off, if you’re still into the Blogger single-column-era.Photos and videos get even bigger. Google is really into making media massive – and we would be too if the average person knew how to share properly high-res photos.New animations. Things are flipping and sliding all over the place in there.A third dimension. You can scroll up and down through your social stream, but Google wants you to be able to scroll in too. Now you can take a deeper dive on a given Google+ post -or is it a Card? I think we’re suppose to call everything Cards now — via related hashtags, which will lead you to more content of interest. It will also take you further down the Google+ rabbit hole, of course. Lots of treats for photographers. Google+ has a thriving community of awesome photogs, and Google is keen to do right by them. Photos in Google+ now have all sorts of cool bells and whistles. A few I’m particularly stoked about include “auto highlight,” which de-emphasizes duplicate and blurry pics, automatically picking the best shot out of a batch. I’ve yet to test this extensively, but since I have a habit of bracketing (taking multiple shots at different exposures) – even on my phone – choosing the best photo of a set can be a major timesuck. This feature could help there. Another feature, “Auto Awesome,” can stitch together shots in a series to make a playful Photobooth-esque picture or even a Vine-like animated gif. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Tags:#Google#Google IO13#io13#social media#social networks Related Posts With a whirlwind of announcements at its Google I/O developers conference this week, Google’s vast suite of social products is finally starting to look like it was created by a single company and not cobbled together via a series of haphazard acquisitions. Here are the highlights of what’s changed:Hangouts: Google Messaging, Unmessy At LastGoogle is finally doing something to prune its thicket of messaging products. Let’s start with a look at the various chat and messaging products that were due for some much-needed spring cleaning: Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img

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