Following this afternoon’s announcement that Google Apps users would now have access to Google+, Google announced some updates to the service via the Official Google Blog.

While noting that over 1 billion items of content are shared on Google+ each day, they announced a  new “What’s Hot” (video above) feature that will display the most popular items in two different places. The first place is after the latest posts in your stream and the second place is a standalone stream accessible from the sidebar on the left.

The new Ripples feature will allow you view to track analytics of public posts by clicking the arrow in the upper right corner of a post followed by the “View Ripples” option from the context menu. From there you will be able to view top comments and public shares as well as view and zoom in on activity related to the post using a timeline and interactive infographics. Check out the video of Ripples in action below:

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The new Google+ Creative Kit will allow you to add filters and effects to your images as well as access basic editing features like crop, exposure, and sharpen. To get started, they are throwing in a few limited edition Halloween effects. Creative filters includ the usual suspects– 1960’s vintage, heatmap, vibrance, etc. You can also add text to images and overlay images like the halloween mask show in the demo video of Creative Kit below:

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