If you've visited your Google+ account in the past day, you may have noticed Google's big announcement at play: a new look and feel for the social network that puts imagery front and center in a huge way.
Too huge, some argue. The size of cover photos has increased yet again, taking up the full half of the screen above the fold. Here's how the Search Engine Watch Google+ page looks upon arrival:
And while it seems like Google is taking advantage of trends toward a more visual experience online, many marketers are confused by the decision. A casual conversation on my Facebook page about the new Google+ cover photo led to the following reactions:
In all fairness, there are some compelling new photo features at Google+, like "auto enhance" and "auto awesome."
Auto enhance improves the quality of your photo with a click of a button, adjusting things like brightness, contrast, saturation, focus and other elements that make a good photo.
Google gives you a place to play with this new feature before applying it to your own pictures, here.
And then we have the "auto awesome" feature, which we heard about yesterday at the Google I/O event. Google explains what this feature can do for your images:
Sometimes we’ll create a brand new image based on a set of photos in your library. For example: if you upload a sequence of photos, we’ll try and animate them automatically. Or if you send us a few family portraits, we’ll find everyone’s best smile, and stitch them together into a single shot. Likewise with panoramas, filmstrips, and a whole lot more. We call these kinds of enhancements Auto Awesome.
For a brief recap of the new image features, check out the following video:
And if you're so inclined, you can share your cheers for the new Google+ with the social network's hashtag: #googlepluslove. Alternatively, you can always voice your opinion at the Google+ official page, with the Google+ community manager, or with the Google Feedback feature in Google+.
What do you think of the Google+ new look and feel?