Google has updated Google+ by integrating YouTube with Hangouts, adding one-click support on the video streaming site so that users of the new social network can instantly watch clips with their friends. Quietly added to the “Share” menu underneath YouTube videos, clicking the link allows you to invite other Google+ members to watch it with you. Meanwhile, the Google+ interface itself has also had a mild makeover.
Google obviously realizes that people get a kick out of seeing new notifications come in, and so the little red counter that clocks up how many updates are waiting for your attention is now animated. Rather than discretely appearing, it spins round like the social networking equivalent of a slot machine wheel. You’ll see more of it, too, since the top black and grey Google menu bars now follow your scrolling down the screen, though the engineers have been clever about it and, if you’re browsing on a smaller display, one or both bars remain fixed so as to give you maximum room to read.
Collaborative YouTube video watching seems likely to only be the start of Google+ integration with the streaming service. We’re expecting to see direct YouTube recording added sometime soon, too, allowing you to quickly create a video record of conversations for later review and/or sharing.