New in Google+: Popular Posts, Ripples and a Creative Kit for Photo Editing

It’s a busy day for the Google+ team. Not only did Google just open its social network to all Google Apps users, but the team also rolled out a number of interesting new features. These include the ability to see what the most talked about posts on Google+ are right now, a very cool visualization tool to see how a story was shared and discussed on the service and the Google+ Creative Kit, which adds some basic photo editing features to the service.

As always, Google is rolling these services out over the course of the next day or two, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t see them in your account yet.

What’s Hot?

According to Google, over 1 billion posts are shared and received on Google+. To help users to find out what’s being shared across the whole service, Google today launched a “What’s Hot” section in your stream. This new section will appear after your regular updates and should, at least in theory, help you discover interesting posts that were shared publicly across the service. Hopefully the algorithms will be smart enough to ensure that it’s not just posts by Robert Scoble…

You can see this new feature in action here:


This is probably the coolest of the new features Google announced today. With Ripples, you can see how a post was shared across the service. Ripples lets you browse through a post’s history in an interactive visualization that lets you replay a post’s “activity, zoom in on certain events, identify top contributors and much more.”

Describing it really doesn’t do this feature justice, so have a look at the video blow or if you are a Google+ user, have a look at what it looks like on the site (and here is a whole list of interesting Ripples):

Creative Kit

In addition to these two features, Google is also adding some photo editing tools to Google+. Right from the beginning, sharing photos was one of the main features of the service and quite a few professional photographers also embraced it to share their works. Until now, however, you couldn’t really manipulate your photos in Google+. Now, with the Google+ Creative Kit, you can apply Instagram-like filters, add text and stamps.

To get started with the Creative Kit, simply select a photo from your albums, look for the Edit menu and click “Creative Kit.”

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