+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

All new Google+ Explore - What's Hot for you!

UPDATE 29.1.2014:

The "What's Hot" tab has been removed from the left side pop-up pillar and moved to the top of your Home page on Google+:  Explore

The posts under the Explore and What's hot are different, can't yet say which I prefer.
A good place to find interesting communities, anyway.

You can access the Explore page directly from this link.

To be able to adjust the settings -> amount of posts in your home stream, you must click on the What's hot link in the blue box (Explore Google+) and then you get this actual WH page with the settings cogwheel:

I've been criticizing the Google+ Explore stream in the past, on this post for instance.
This tab view may be different depending on which language you use Google+: I have US English as the primary language. Change yours in the settings.

It seemed to be full of nonsense and Facebookish photo posts and depending on your settings you saw some of those in your main or home stream.  Not all want the aphorisms or poolpics...
I have been asking for more serious posts.

There are millions of people who like the aphorism posts so that's why they're on top of the Explore stream. But for us who are not interested in those, unless we visit that stream we shouldn't see them in our Home stream.

The change is rolling out slowly, the posts we get to see lifted in our Home stream, with our own preferences (+1's) and those of the people we engage with.  Still extensive testing and work going on. Hopefully soon the WH throws more topic-related posts our way, posted by people not yet in circles...

The What's Hot is a mixture of the most popular posts and what Google thinks might be interesting to us.

The recent change is in the posts Google lifts up in our streams: I'm getting all sorts of interesting stuff from people not in my circles but on topics I'm interested in and have posted about.
I'm not getting the most plussed posts in my stream anymore but the ones with less popularity and "more sense" to me. :-)
It's all coming together, the brand new social. Without silly paid ads.

Just based on our own interests.
They know who are in your circles, what posts you have plussed, about the topics you write about and share with the Circleverse. 

EDIT: The latest example above:

This post had only 3 plusones and one share, so you'd not think that this is the normal stuff for the Explore stream.

However: This is just the thing for me, based on my posts, topics, interests and followings.

I'm a Finn like the two divers. I have been to Phuket several times, have posted about Phuket and shared photos of Phuket dives. I had no idea that these three profiles existed on Google+.

But Google+ knows, all about me that I've wanted to share and now it's starting to pay off.
I just circled all three, then went to +Merlin Divers Co., Ltd. page and circled some more...


I've had my Explore stream setting on "Fewer":  Getting a silly post every now and then, just keeping an eye on that stream.  Well, I'm changing that right now, up one notch.
This is so interesting: To see what Google comes up with!

The chief architect of Google+, +Yonatan Zunger just commented on my post where I was wondering about the interesting content appearing in the stream:

Yup; it's a lot more personalized. We're working to really make a system that recommends things (content, people, etc) specifically to you. It's nowhere near perfect yet, but we've made a lot of progress.
Later he added:
These changes are happening all the time and have been since WH launched. This is a cumulative thing, not a single big revision to WH. 

Well, the way I get interesting posts lifted from the WH into my stream now, I say thank you Google.  This is one of the best things that can happen - at least I think so.
If you don't see the change yet, be patient.

By the way, all your saved searches are to be found on this Explore tab, too.

This I do like:  To see really useful posts in the "What's Hot & Recommended" box appearing in my Home stream.
Now I feel they're recommended to me!

There is another side to the story:  

I was wondering how my posts about Google Drive, Gmail or Thai food suddenly gained so much interaction lately.  It seems there are other people also interested in those, so the posts have made brief appearances in my WH stream.

Game changer or?

More about the Explore search:

I was looking for posts for Chinese New Year and clicked on the Explore #cny. Not only do I see posts about the topic I search for but Google+ also suggests more to Explore in the left box:  Brilliant!

What about you, have you paid any attention to the Explore stream? Has it changed for you in any way?


  1. As Archie Bunker said (in a different situation): "If you're gonna change, then hurry up and change!"

    1. Yes! :-)
      But they are not yet in a hurry, the Google team. They want to get it right and are doing a lot of testing.

  2. I am new to Google Plus, and was horrified by the cute-kitty nature of "What's Hot." It sadly reminded me of how many idiots there are in the world.

    1. There's not much we can do about that... Most of them will surely grow up to be sensible adults! :-)


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