Google adds sliders to help declutter Google+ streams

Google Plus Circles

Detailed within a Google+ post created by Google product engineer Austin Chang, the Google+ development team has added a more advanced tool that allows users to control the volume of  posts and notifications that appear within the main Google+ content feed. Located near the top right corner of the page, a slider will appear when a user clicks on a specific circle. There are five settings on the slider that will allow the user to control how much content coming from friends in that specific circle will appear in the home page feed. Users can completely mute an entire circle or subscribe to every single notification when people within that circle post new content or leave comments.

Google+ sliderAlong with the sliders, the Google+ development team added a way to mute notifications coming from a specific person on Google+. When a user clicks on the profile of a friend, they will see a new Mute link directly below the list of their friends in circles and above the blocking link.

Describing the new feature, Chang states “We all have a chatty Cathy (or Charles) in our circles. We still want to enjoy their posts in the stream, but we don’t want a notification every time they share with us. Now you can do exactly that: just click “Mute” from notifications or their profile.”

In addition to the upgraded filters regarding posts and notifications, the final feature added this week incorporates email into posting. Assuming that you have a particularly important link or piece of content to share, the development team has added a “Also send email to Circle” option. This feature can be particularly useful for big announcements like changing jobs, advancing a personal relationship or other important life events. It’s basically ideal for friends that don’t use Google+ often, but want to keep up with your life.

Google+ email checkboxBeyond these new features, Google has also been rolling out vanity URLs for select accounts over the past couple weeks. According to Google+ product manager Saurabh Sharma, the development team is offering vanity URLs to large brands or popular celebrities first before pushing it out on a wider basis.

Some of the brands that have gotten access to the new vanity URL include Toyota, Delta and Hugo Boss while some celebrities that have snagged an easy to remember URL include Britney Spears, Hugh Jackman and David Beckham. It’s likely that the accounts have to be verified first before the vanity URL can be claimed. This requires the user to tie a specific Google+ page with an official company site using a short line of code.

Regarding expansion of the vanity URL program, Sharma states “At first, we’re introducing custom URLs to a limited number of verified profiles and pages. But over time we plan to offer custom URLs to many more brands and individuals, so please stay tuned!” According to a statement from Google spokesperson Andrea Faville, the company doesn’t have a specific timeline on when vanity URLs will be publically available to non-verified Google+ users.