Today, on the Official Google Blog, the company just announced a significant update to Google+ that introduces a “a more functional and flexible version of Google+.” The updated service now includes a new app sidebar for navigation, a redesigned stream to help the flow of conversations, updated user profiles with larger photos, revamped Hang Outs, and a new chat list.

The biggest new feature included in the update is redesigned navigation. While navigation was previously done through the static icons at the top of Google+, it has now been moved to a “a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left.” With the new navigation ribbon, you will be able to perform the following:

1. You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want

2. You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions

3. You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

Google also made many improvements to the way “conversations” work. These improvements include full size photos and videos in your stream, new “conversations cards” that “make it easier to scan and join discussions,” and an “activity drawer” that allows you to keep track of conversations happening around your content.

The video below shows the new Navigation Ribbon in action:

You may also notice a brand new “Explore” page that allows you to discover interesting and trending content from across Google+ and a revamp of Hang Outs, including a live-updating list of invitations, quick links to currently On Air hangouts, and a new “rotating billboard of popular hangouts, pro tips and other items you don’t want to miss.”

Google expects all of these new features to roll out to users within the next few days.