This week has been pretty exciting for both Facebook and Google. Facebook announced a slew of features that seem on the surface to copy Google+. For Google+ users, a lot of improvements, updates and features were implemented, and they're seeing a lot more overall integration with their Google account.
Some of these changes aren't directly related to Google+, but they do show that Google is paying a lot more attention to the overall look of your Google accounts, and tying Google products more closely together.
- Gmail now has a new look.
- +Snippets is now available on Google Maps, Books, Offers, and Product Search. The +Snippets allows you to share a restaurant, a book you're checking out, or product you're thinking of buying directly with your Google+ circles. Just find what you're looking for, and click the Share box on the top right.
- I wasn't able to confirm this directly in my search, but according to SearchEngineLand news editor +Matt McGee, Google is testing celebrity endorsements on paid ads. The endorsement would be from a star or celebrity, that looks like a +1 post, that says "Khloe Kardashian endorsed this".
- The Data Liberation Team does it again. This time, they've liberated your recorded Gmail chat logs, via IMAP. To see a demonstration of it, watch the video below:
- You can now edit videos directly from YouTube. Go to the YouTube Video Editor page to get started. You'll have the ability to do things like combine videos, trim clips, add music, and stabilize your video. There's a lot of potential here for people who've been recording their Google+ hangouts. Check out the demonstration below:
Google+ hangouts is where some of the most innovative stuff is happening. This week, you can take the floor in a hangout, and others discovered possible hangout moderation features.
- One of the coolest things about Google+ hangouts is its significance in the deaf community. Early on, engineering director +Chee Chew invited the deaf community and people who sign to provide feedback on Google+ hangouts, to make it more accessible for them. One of the most interesting features is the ability to "take the floor" while signing. When all participants in a hangout mute their audio, the one who wants to sign something will press Shift+s, and become the person in the main video, giving them the floor. Check out the video below for a demonstration:
- Google+ Photos Community Manager +Brian Rose is really proud of his mustache. He's started a wave of mustache pictures on Google+, and tells you how you can add your own mustache with Picnik.