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Google+ gets major redesign with big focus on Communities and Collections

Google has begun the process of rolling out a major redesign of Google+, featuring a new, simpler look that puts Communities and Collections at the center of everything. These are the areas of Google+ that its most loyal users have stuck with and remain deeply engaged in, even as other features like Hangouts and Photos have been broken out in hopes of reaching a more mainstream audience.

"With Collections and Communities, discovering amazing things is simple: just follow or join whatever happens to pique your interests," said Google's Luke Wroblewski. The service's home stream has also been redesigned, with Google claiming that it's now "easier to post, search, connect, and keep up with great content."

The new Google+ overhaul is available today if you opt in, and Google says mobile updates are coming soon. (Not all features have been brought over, so you might be switching between the classic and new views until they both offer all the same functionality.) "While this is an exciting new beginning for us, we’re definitely not done yet," said Wroblewski. "We got here by listening and learning, and will continue doing so." Google+ is finally shedding its "social network" pressures and becoming the focused, streamlined, and interest-based destination that we've always wanted.