Google+ is making it easier to connect and hold discussions with strangers who share the same interests as you by introducing a ‘Communities’ feature. This new feature will let you create your own community on Google+. The communities aim to bring together people who share common interests; ‘From photography to astronomy (and everything in between)’ will have a community made by the users, for the users on Google+, wrote Google’s Vice President Vic Gundotra in a blog post.

Connect with like minded people on Google+ now

Connect with like minded people on Google+ now

The new communities seem to have all the tools necessary to discuss topics of interest. Some features include:

  • Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
  • Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
  • The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
  • The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web

Those with stronger memories will recollect Orkut had an immensely popular feature by the same name. In the pre-Facebook era, Orkut communities were modeled over the forum style of discussions. The communities had a long list of threads and discussions that went into pages.

The Google+ communities look aesthetically better in comparison, but you have to scroll to view posts, which is something that could prove tiresome when a community has a large membership and many posts.

The communities do have threads listed in a panel on the left and several sub-threads too. The role of a moderator has been given major importance, especially with creating threads.

Gundotra, though says that this is only a preview. “It’s only a preview, and mobile’s coming soon, so we’re keen to get your feedback.” The blog also announced that Google+ was growing really fast. “Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever. More than 500 million people have upgraded, 235 million are active across Google (+1'ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search…), and 135 million are active in just the stream.”

Join or create communities to hold discussions

Join or create communities to hold discussions

Gundotra also wrote about another new ‘improvement’ Google is introducing. Having welcomed Nik Software into the Google family, the popular photo editing app Snapseed has launched on Android. The paid app, previously only available on iOS, is now free for download on both Android and iOS. The Android version comes with a heavy file size of 24 MB and is compatible on handsets and tablets running Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and up.

The app was rated ‘iPad App of the year’ in 2011 and has features like:

  • Basic adjustments like tune, straighten and crop
  • Creative filters like drama, black & white, and vintage that you can apply individually or in combination
  • Control Point technology to selectively enhance your photo—to brighten just a face, for instance, or deepen just the sky
  • The ability to share your creations via Google+ and other services

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