In the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, Google Plus has little standing—if any at all. Google first debuted the social networking platform in 2012—calling itself the “fastest-growing network thingy ever”—but it failed to keep users engaged. Which is probably why tech giant Google will be, once again, rolling out changes and upgrades.
On Monday, the company announced three new updates for Google Plus. The first is a new look, says Google’s Product Manager Danielle Buckley, which was first introduced last November. Users were previously able to toggle between Google+ Web Preview and Google+ Classic, but the former will now be the default and the latter will be gone.
“If you haven’t yet previewed the new Google+, over the next few days we’ll upgrade you to the experience when you sign in on the web,” wrote Buckley in a post. “You’ll still be able to toggle back to classic Google+ for the time being.”
For businesses that utilize Collections and Communities, Google aims to make “it available to more organizations.” Those who use Google Apps will be able to see the new user experience. Collections, a sharing feature that is interest-based, and Communities, interest-based groups, were at the center of Google’s upgrade last November.
“Today, we’re starting to introduce a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center,” wrote Google last year. “Now focused around interests, the new Google+ is much simpler. And it’s more mobile-friendly—we’ve rebuilt it across web, Android and iOS so that you’ll have a fast and consistent experience whether you are on a big screen or small one.”
Google will also introduce a series of new features that allows users to add links and photos to comments, lets Community owners and moderators to control comments, and the debut of a new notifications center for web users to see their recent activity. The new features, writes Buckley, will be rolled out for Android, iOS and web users.
According to Google, there are 300 million users on Google Plus. But last year, an independent study from digital marketing agency Stone Temple Consulting found that less than one percent of Google users are active on Google Plus. Eric Enge, Stone Temple’s CEO, estimated that 111 million users have an active profile and just 6.7 million users have at least 50 posts ever.
Will the new updates be enough to keep Google Plus alive and relevant? The outcome looks bleak—considering none of the changes incentivize users to be more active—but only time will tell.