Set up +Post Ads campaigns directly from Google+

Rolling out over the next few weeks, marketers will be able to start +Post Ads campaigns directly from their Google+ page.

To put it in few words, +Post Ads are Google+ posts displayed as advertisements across the web and has several benefits such as Hangouts On Air broadcasts, but the key seller is engagement between the consumer and the brand. Launched earlier this year, +Post Ads have been successful for companies like +Cadbury and +Toyota USA trying out this format of advertising.

So what's new? It's now even easier to set up campaigns and all of it can be done from within Google+. Rolling out over the coming weeks, advertisers can use the drop-down menu on any post on their verified page with over 1,000 followers and select the "Promote this post" button. From there, it will take you to a pre-filled ad creation page in AdWords. There is also an option that can be selected which will always promote the latest posts (if your team's budget allows).

Hangouts for Chrome gets a complete overhaul - Brings Facebook-style "Chatheads" to the desktop

An overhauled Hangouts has landed on the Chrome Web Store for Windows and Chrome OS, featuring a new streamlined interface with gorgeous animations.

If you've ever used Facebook Messenger on your Android or iOS device, you'll feel right at home with the new Hangouts Chrome extension for Chrome OS and Windows users. Gone is a static user interface, the new Hangouts introduces an interface similar to "Chat heads" which allows the user to have a conversation without interrupting what you're doing on the desktop.

After installing the new extension, you'll notice a brand new icon for Hangouts (which will hopefully land on the Android and iOS apps soon). Click on that, and the icon will appear, overlaying the desktop or webpage you currently have open. From there, you can drag the icon anywhere on the lower-half of the display and when pressed, will spring up a list of your conversations.

Just like Gmail as of a few weeks ago, you can now switch between 2 tabs - a list of your pinned and online contacts and the other, a list of your conversations. As you open up conversations, you'll see their "bubbles" stacked above the Hangouts icon. New messages will display a preview spouting from the individual with a new message counter also.

Polls - The latest feature to grace Google+

Rolling out now on Android and the web with iOS coming soon- Polls on Google+.

Announced just minutes ago by Googler +Dennis Troper, Google+ Polls is a great way to find out what your audience (or friends) are thinking. Polls can be created with up to 5 choices with or without photos (your choice), and they're quick and easy to create.

A poll can be created by using the share box, just look for the Poll icon when creating a post. The feature will be available to use for profiles and pages, and can be shared into communities too.

Polls are beautiful, and I never thought I'd say that about such a feature. When you vote, instant feedback is presented with a swift, pleasing animation which lets you know what choice is the most favoured measured by percentage.
Polls are currently rolling out to Google+ on Android and the web now, with iOS reportedly coming soon according to the announcement post. For all the details on polls, Google has just made the Help Centre article live.

Now casting: Your Google+ photos

The Chromecast app for Android and iOS has been updated with a new feature called Backdrops which enables you to select your photo albums on Google+ (and so much more) to be displayed on your television.

We've been waiting for Backdrops to hit our devices since the announcement back in summer at Google I/O which they said was coming "soon". Back then, little did we know that "soon" was months away. We're learning, Google.

Rant aside, you can opt to display the weather on your television, as well as art, satellite images and featured photos shared on Google+. Since the debut of Chromecast last year, beautiful background images have graced our screens, but now with the ability to pick and choose whether our Google+ photos are cast (off by default) and other categories. It's a great way to spice up the experience in-between casting sessions.
Of course, you'll need to purchase a Chromecast and have the latest version of the Chromecast app (which is rolling out now) installed to enjoy.