For most of 2015 Google has been backing away from Google+. The Photo and Hangout apps were decoupled and the “social layer” was stripped from the rest of the company’s products, moves that have been cited as proof that Google no longer considers the network a priority.
Priority or not, however, Google continues to make incremental improvements to Google+, which is what Google vp of photos, streams and sharing Bradley Horowitz has said to expect. The latest update came today, making the Collections feature available within the iOS app.
The Collections feature was originally introduced in May as a way for people to share topic-based sets of content, like homebrewing, climbing and marine life. Widely compared to Pinterest boards — including by me — Collections are actually more outward facing than boards on Pinterest.
They give people — and marketers, see BuzzFeed’s BuzzMeme collection or ABC News’ Technology collection — the ability to create specialized streams of content. Collections allow people to pick and choose the topics they want to follow, if, for instance, they rather avoid ABC News’ political coverage on Google+.
It remains to be seen whether marketers will embrace the feature, considering it takes resources to manage topics and Google+’s place in the marketing mix for most companies is likely below Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. But adding iOS users to the pool of the potential audience can’t hurt.
Since introducing Collections in May, Google as made a few tweaks, including enabling Collection authors to add taglines to describe what a Collection includes and the ability to search within Collections on Android. The updated iOS app doesn’t include the ability to search within Collections.