Google Plus is Dead; Long Live Google Currents
Google has finally laid to rest its failed social network Google Plus and replaced it with what is now known as Google Currents for all its enterprise users. Given that enterprise customer focus is the flavour of the ongoing work-from-home season, it has started rolling out the new features on both Android and iOS apps.
When this user tested these changes via Play Store, it was found that the changes reflected on one G-Suite account run by the organisation while the same changes refused to turn up on the personal accounts. Appears to be in sync with what Google did last year by shutting down all the personal Google Plus accounts. Just proves that for Google personal is nothing!
The Google Plus apps on Android and iOS also got a rebranding as Google Currents to reflect the changes, which appears to be designed to help seamless communication within companies where they can post and comment on discussions and read content about projects or topics under a news feed, which can be moderated .
The process of shutting down Google Plus began in 2018 after Google reported low usage and engagement on their social platform while others such as Facebook were cornering the glory. A contributing factor was also the security vulnerabilities that Google found in the product which led to them shutting it down four months earlier in April of 2019.
So, what has changed?
The core user-interface remains quite similar and unchanged with a home stream appearing on the opening screen where content is ordered by either chronology or relevance. There is also a sparkle icon that can be used to highlight content on the feed which can also pull content such as links, images and text from one’s Google Drive.
It is not just in the look and feel that Google Currents looks different, there are a few features that provide better administrative privileges and moderation efforts. Here are some of these:
- Users can exchange ideas and documents and discuss strategies and ideas with their colleagues without having to keep track of troublesome emails or chats.
- Highlight the content either by chronology or relevance, which means you could have all the discussions around your current project surfacing up front.
- Connect with colleagues based on their personal interests and follow tags related to topics while also keeping abreast of what’s cooking elsewhere in the organisation.
- The functionality of highlighting topics means that the leadership can call the attention of others to topics or issues while team leaders can do the same on their team notes
Oh! By the way if you thought that Google Currents appeared to be a rather dated name for something that could make a difference to today’s workplace scenario, don’t bother. The name is at least seven years old as Google had launched Google Currents as a magazine app earlier and quietly withdrawn it. Today, that is known to us as Google News!
Google has a Darker Side too
Google has finally brought the dark mode to its Android apps that sits well with Android 10’s dark theme toggle. So, now we have dark mode on Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps for Android. Of course, not all people find the darker shade enjoyable, but the fact remains that it reduces eye strain and possibly gives more battery life.
The rollout has started today and would be completed in about two weeks with both individual and company accounts getting them in parallel. All the three apps would respect the phone’s settings and function unless you want to change it.