Google has famously killed off a number of social network and messaging services over the last couple of decades (remember Allo? Or Google Talk?). But, amazingly, the Usenet-linked Google Groups setup that's been operational since 2001 is still cranking along. It hasn't had a UI update to match the company's other tools in years though, and a Material-design makeover is incoming. The filtering and search will also be revamped, and they claim it will be easier than ever to start a new group.
The new Groups beta release includes most popular Groups features as well as:
- Improved navigation—Group settings are consolidated into one section for easy access.
- Streamlined group creation—A quick three-step wizard simplifies group creation.
- Powerful search options—New filtering and search options help you find content quickly.
- Simplified My groups page—When you're signed in to Google Groups (groups.google.com), you'll see all your groups on the same page.
- Standardized messaging—Topics are now called conversations and match Gmail patterns.
- Enhanced member management—The updated Members page provides quick access to group member subscriptions and permissions.
Interested users can sign up here to try out the beta, well before the new interface becomes mandatory for all users. That is especially important as they provide feedback on features that are "being considered for deprecation" like embedding groups in web pages or being able to view original message headers.