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Google+ is the odd one out in the social space. Despite millions of users who love the service, it always seems to be the forgotten platform. For those who are using Google+, today Google has announced several major updates coming to the platform just ahead of a switch to the new UI which was announced last year.

The first set of new features coming to Google+ deals with the average user, so let’s start off with one that we’ve been wanting for quite some time: pictures in comments. Starting “over the next few weeks”, users will be able to embed both still images and animated GIFs into comments on posts, something that was revealed a few weeks ago.

Along with this, community moderators are about to gain more effective tools for controlling spam in their communities. Google calls this “approved posting”, but it doesn’t explain exactly what it will entail. Web users will also see some big changes to the notification center, giving them the ability to see and manage recent Google+ activity.

Talking about the new UI, Google has also revealed that over the next few day it will be switching current and new users to this UI by default. For now, users will still be able to switch back to the classic Google+, but it’s pretty clear now that Google is going all-in on the new UI.

For businesses, Google is also making Google+ a core service for Google Apps users, pushing Communities and Collections as easy ways to share ideas and collaborate with team members.

The new changes will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

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