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170 million people have updated Google+, it has been claimed.
Millions of Google users are enjoying new ways to share content in Search, Gmail, YouTube and  – it is claiming 100 million have engaged on Google+ its social networking answer to Facebook,  in the last 30 days, reports The Guardian.

But it’s fair to say this number may have been arrived at by a slight trick of blackmail magic, since anyone wishing to create a new Google account must sign up to Google + (the Google gurus must be wishing they thought of it years ago).

This 170 million figure marks a massive jump from the 90m Google+ members it had in January.

And note Google’s language on its blog – users have “updated” to Google + but maybe that should that be rephrased to ‘forced.’

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However considering Google is one of the most visited websites in Oz – with 14.4 m visitors each month and accounts for 66.4% of all web searches in the US currently according to Comscore – the figures may be disappointing for the Internet giant, almost a year after Google+ launch.

But the catch up to Facebook’s 850 million users is no mean feat, and Googler’s have upped the ante announcing a makeover of the ‘+’ social network.

“Today we’re introducing a more functional and flexible version of Google+. We think you’ll find it easier to use and nicer to look at, but most importantly, it accelerates our efforts to create a simpler, more beautiful Google,” writes Vic Gundotra, Google Senior Vice President on official blog.

Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left which comes with lots of “perks,” including the ability to drag apps up or down to create your own personal order and show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More.”

“Once you’ve upgraded to Google+, it’s easy to share with your circles from just about anywhere. We’re dreaming bigger, though,” says Gundotra.

And Plus-ers can also full bleed photos, videos and a stream of conversation “cards” that make it easier to scan and join discussions.

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Google+ Hangouts

Google+ Hangouts where Plus folk communicate via live video has also been updated – and now boasts an always-updated list of invitations from the people in your circles, quick access to every public and on air hangout, or watch a live broadcast.

 

There will also be a rotating billboard of popular hangouts and expect hangout apps to be released soon which the Google team are already working on, Gundotra revealed.

 “It’s still early days, and there’s plenty left to do, but we’re more excited than ever to build a seamless social experience, all across Google.

“We’ve also built the ribbon with the future in mind, giving us an obvious (and clutter-free) space for The Next Big Feature, and The Feature After That. So stay tuned,”according to the blog.

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