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October 4, 2006

The New Google Groups

What I love about Google products is that when they're finally out of beta, there's a new beta version around.

The new Google Groups Beta looks different. It has childish icons for each group, but you can change that. In fact, you can change a big list of settings if you are the owner of a group (select a template, change the navigation, access rights and more).

You can create web pages and upload files (storage: 100 MB) to a group, and that seems to be most important new feature. The web pages can be edited by more people at once and Google Groups shows all saved versions. People can also comment on the page.

Google lets you create a real profile: now you can add a picture and more information about yourself. Each user has a rating, the average rating for your posts.

There's no left sidebar. The recently visited groups moved to a quirky menu that can be accessed from the "My Groups" link. Google merged the two search boxes, so the interface looks cleaner.

Messages from a topic look exactly like a Gmail conversation, each message is collapsible, can be forwarded or printed. If you don't look carefully, you'll think this is not Google Groups, it's Gmail.

All in all, the new design seems a combination of Gmail and Yahoo Groups. The tight Gmail integration is a nice addition, while the file storage might make migration from Yahoo Groups easier. To quote Mr. Justin Timberlake, Google Groups brings sexy back, and it's mature enough to have all the feature you need.

We can conclude that this is the first transplant from the new Google to the old Google (Google Groups was launched in 2001) and the patient feels much better.


  1. I hope this is a good omen of things to come in terms of Google redesigning all their online services to look even more intuitive, user friendly, and just plain nice.


  2. I'm testing the interface out now, its many times better than the older look&feel!

    The thing i love most about the new look is the My Groups menu.
    I'm a big fan of site-menus rather than side-bars or navigation. (for those who are logged onto a site that is)

    I only started getting back into Google Groups recently there.
    Joined the Video and Page Creator groups to offer some help.
    Really loving the new look for it, especally the customization for your own groups!

    Google are awesome! heh

  3. I hoped to see making sub directory/group in that beta, but not included.

  4. It feels weird... why isn't my Gmail signature in posts I post? Why can't I find an easy way to get alerts of replies to what I posted? (Unless that already happens.) Why isn't this better integrated with other Google tools? Why do we need to reinvent the wheel everytime? So many questions :)

  5. Very very cool... I just read the article and I am now I am going to head over to the new google groups and check it out for myself.


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