Trending Topics, Analytics and More Come to Google+

Like a lot of people, I too believe that these days there is a social overdose online. Even sub-standard apps mask themselves under the social veil to grab some traction. So, when Google launched its latest attempt at dominating the social graph with Google+, it got a rather lackluster reception. And the usage since launch seems to be dwindling exponentially.

There is no doubt that Google+ is a worthy competitor to Facebook, but it arrived a bit too late. Even without having to examine it under a microscope, Google+ is a better social product with a ton of cool features. Privacy issues that haunted Google and the last social product of theirs, Google Buzz, have been fixed for good. Even with that, it’s still hard to grab an audience when everyone’s already on Facebook, Twitter, and 1.5 million other social networks.

To spice up an already awesome product, Google has rolled out hot new features like trending topics, analytics, and image editing among other things. Let’s take a peek at them and see if there’s enough to entice users to Google’s network now.

Trending Topics

What's hot on Google+

What's hot on Google+

The What’s hot on Google+, is the section dedicated to the shared items that are getting a lot of attention, and the positioning ensures that it is actually hard to miss. The items are not just limited to your friends but cover a wider net, the entire social network’s public posts. This is the equivalent of trending topics we have on Twitter except that the algorithm pushes posts up automatically, without the need for any special hashtags.

Analytics

Unless you use custom short URLs, for the most part you won’t be able to get any useful analytics data from Facebook or Twitter. Since social is all about reaching out to people, it is hard to believe how little top social networks are doing to deliver any usable analytics about how information is shared.

Being a data driven company, Google has cleverly integrated in-depth analytics about items shared in Google+. Again, the analytics aren’t limited to the shares from your network alone. You can view detailed data on all posts that are shared in public.

Google+ Ripples

Google+ Ripples

Dubbed as Ripples, the analytics aren’t just limited to the usual bar and pie charts. In addition to these, you get to see the graphical representation of how the post is shared in various circles. Public shares are identified by the names of persons who have shared them.

Timeline View

Timeline View

The timeline view is self explanatory and you can drag the slider to check out how well the post has performed at various hours of the day.

In depth Data

In depth Data

Finally, you get to see who has influenced the post a lot, the share data and the languages in which it has been shared. When businesses are allowed to use Google+, this would be the killer feature that Facebook will have to compete with.

Creative Kit

Creative Kit

Creative Kit

Now that adding filters to good looking photographs is all the rage, Google+ has got them too. From vintage to Halloween, there are filters available to suite everyone’s taste (though any filters at all might offend some people’s taste, but today, that seems beside the point). Besides that, you can also edit images – crop, rotate, auto-fix etc. – without having to use a touch-up app from your desktop. The kit takes a while to load, though, and you will need Adobe Flash installed to use it.

One more thing…

And in a step towards opening Google+ to businesses, now Google Apps users can sign up for the social network too. However, if you already have created an account using your personal id, there’s is no way to link it.

Share Your Thoughts!

Are you an active Google+ user? Think features like these will make you engage and share more in the newest major social network?