07 Mar Google Plus Redesign for Brand Pages: What it Means for You
Google announced on Wednesday, March 6, several changes to Google+ user profiles and brand pages, most of which are purely aesthetic redesigns. The changes include:
Larger Cover Photos
New cover photos will display at a maxium of 2120×1192 pixels and a 16:9 ratio when fully expanded. This new cover photo is an upgrade from the previous slim banner-like cover photo. Also, profile pictures will display in the bottom left corner of the new cover photo in a circular format rather than the previous square that was off to the right. The circular profile image specs still require a minimum size of 250×250 pixels.
Once a profile or page upgrades to this new cover photo layout, the change cannot be undone.
Local Reviews Tab
This new tab offers users a place to highlight favorite restaurants and reviews. Users can also choose to hide the tab completely within their settings. It’s possible that this new tab is another tactic from Google aimed at expanding local search.
It appears that this tab is currently slated as a user-only feature; however, within a brand page’s settings there is now a Reviews tab listed (and it is checked as visible by default, though the tab does not actually display on the page).
Updated About Tab
This change is being implemented across both user profiles and brand pages. Essentially, it is just an aesthetic and UX upgrade. The newly designed About tab displays the same information as before, but in separate cards for each section of the tab. This new design also allows users and brand page managers to more simply edit a single section of information.
Implications for Brands
These changes are primarily aesthetic, so for now, the immediate need for brands is to update the cover photo and profile picture to comply with the updated specs and layout.
It is too soon to tell what the potential implications of the Local Reviews tab may be for brand pages. It is possible that Google may intend to aggregate users’ Google Reviews of a given brand, venue, or business into the Reviews tab on the respective brand, venue, or business page. At this point, we’ve seen no public indication from Google as to how reviews will be populated and we are awaiting a response from our Google rep.