A Closer Look At The New Google+ Collections Feature

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Google seems to be telling people that Google+ is very much alive. Last week, it randomly joined Twitter out of the blue, and now it just announced a new feature that brings to mind offerings from Pinterest and Flipboard.

The feature is called Google+ Collections, and it's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Users can create collections of content around any given topic, just as they could create a board on Pinterest or a magazine on Flipboard. Ultimately in ends up looking like another Google+ page, but centered around the theme the user has chosen.

In an announcement, Google says:

Our happiest Google+ users are those who connect with others around shared interests and passions. So we set out to give people a place to express the things they love. Today, we’re announcing Google+ Collections, a new way to group your posts by topic.

Every collection is a focused set of posts on a particular topic, providing an easy way for you to organize all the things you’re into. Each collection can be shared publicly, privately, or with a custom set of people. Once you create your first collection, your profile will display a new tab where other people can find and follow your collections.

Posts in collections appear in the home stream with a link to the collection itself.

When you're ready to create a Collection, go to the home menu, and select Collections:

You'll then be presented with a screen that gives you the ability to create a collection and view collections from your circles:

You can switch over to featured collections via a tab at the top. This just shows you collections curated by Google. If you push the button to create one, you'll get a box that looks like this:

You can choose from public, your circles, only you, or any custom group of people.

If you make it public, people that have you in circles will automatically follow the collection.

Once you name it and create it, you'll be taken to the main page for that collection, where you can add content, customize the look, and share it to other Google+ users. The gear icon lets you edit the collection or delete it.

If you choose customize, you'll get options to choose a photo (or add your own) and a color.

When it comes to sharing content, it's pretty much just like sharing any other content on Google+. You can choose to share photos, links, videos, events, or polls.

From there on out, as you share content, your collection basically becomes its own Google+ page for all intents and purposes. Just a stream of the stuff you post.

For now, the feature is available for Android and the web. It's coming to iOS soon.

I don't know if this is the feature that will convince non-users to go Google+, but it's certainly a sign that Google still finds the product worth keeping around. It's not dead yet.

Images via Google

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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