Google made three announcements in one today, revealing user figures for its Google+ social network, launching Google+ communities, and introducing Snapseed for Android.
In a post on the official Google blog today, Google SVP Vic Gundotra dubbed Google+ “the fastest-growing network thingy ever.” Quoting Google’s own figures, Gundotra said more than 500m people have upgraded to use Google’s social network, 235m of which are actively interacting with the platform across the web via +1s, Gmail and search, while 135m are active in the Google+ stream.
To help people to continue connecting and sharing over the holiday season, Google also announced two new improvements for Google+.
Google+ Communities is, in Gundotra’s words, “a gathering place for your passions”. Basically, it’s like Facebook Groups.
Google+ Communities give users the option of public or private membership, discussion categories, the opportunity to start hangouts and plan events with members, and the ability to share with the community via +1 buttons across the web.
The service will start rolling out today and can be accessed via the new ‘Communities’ icon in the Google+ sidebar. For now, this is only a preview service and feedback is welcomed. There will also be a mobile version to follow.
Snapseed for Android
Google also announced today that Snapseed, last year’s iPad app of the year, has come to Android. Snapseed was created by Nik Software, which Google acquired in September this year.
This app allows users to adjust, edit and selectively enhance images, adding creative filters either individually or in combination. These images can then be shared on Google+ or other networks.
Snapseed for Android and version 1.5 for iOS are available free now on Google Play and the App Store.