Tech: IT Easy - Google+ faces redesign | More like Facebook

I know you remember it. You may even have a profile on it that you haven't updated in a while. Well, it's time to take a short break from Facebook and check out the changes at Google+, if only to say you did it.

Last year, Google tried (again) to launch a social-media site; the massive Internet company used all its online leverage to attract millions of users at launch. To date, Google+ boasts what may appear to be an impressive 170 million users; impressive until you look at the approximately 845 million Facebook users. Still, 170 million is not a figure to balk at considering the service hasn't passed the 12-month mark yet.

In an effort to both attract more users and have those users stay longer on the site, Google+ implemented a redesign of layout. The New York Times described the redesign as "prettier and easier to navigate than its predecessor." And here is why.

The most notable change is the new ribbon. The control buttons at the top have been relocated to the side as a customisable ribbon. Buttons and widgets can be arranged and rearranged on the fly. You can hover over some buttons for additional features. You can put your favourite buttons like games, photos, profile and hangouts to the top, and remove less-popular buttons all together. The goal appears to be to have an uncluttered appearance.

Perhaps third-party widgets and buttons will be introduced soon. This is a level of customisation unavailable for Facebook and where Google, I think, hopes to differentiate itself from its competitor.

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