Google has unveiled a completely new user interface for its growing social network Google+. The changes have sparked a site-wide discussion about the minimal new design and given birth to the funny new #usesforwhitespace meme.
The aim of the redesign was to create a “more functional and flexible version of Google+,” said Google in a post on its official blog, but users are perplexed by the large amount of white space Google has left on the right hand side of the site.
Both the #newgoogleplus and #whitespace hashtags have been trending on Google+ since the modifications were announced but the #usesforwhitespace meme has gone viral.
Along with predicting that Google will use the extra space to introduce ads in the future, G+’ers are posting images of ways in which people can make the best use of the white space right now.
Popular white space uses include “optimizing desk space for my electronics,” Facebook, Microsoft’s Clippy, bacon, cat heads, “some facepalm,” “Multiplayer tetris,” “Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting on White Space” and a tablet. One G+ user suggested that turning your monitor from landscape to portrait orientation will solve the problem while another used the Keanu Reeves meme to say “What if Google+ white space is filled with content we can’t see?”
“When Google was petitioning for the #whitespace spectrum, I didn't realize it would be used to redesign Google+,” joked technology blogger MG Siegler.
For those who are worried about the white space being used for ads, there’s no need for concern just yet. In a recent Hangout on Google+, Senior Vice President of Social at Google, Vic Gundotra, told participants that Google has future plans for the the white space. He said that it will not be used for advertisements.
In addition to lots of white space, the latest round of G+ user interface (UI) modifications include changing the navigation buttons from the top of the page to the left side, enabling users to drag and drop the icons that link to their Profile, Hangouts, Photos, Circles and Games into an order that suits them best, a new space dedicated to Hangouts, full bleed photos and videos, new conversation “cards,” and a new Explore page that helps users discover trending content on G+.
The changes will be rolled out to all users over the next few days. Google has put together a page that walks you through a few of the changes and helps new users set up their profiles and circles on Google+.