Google+ now gives verified profiles, early access to new features to some Collections and Communities users

A few months ago, Google pivoted Google+ away from being a basic social network and put a focus on content curation instead. To reward the most interesting and active users on its service, Google today launched the Google+ Create program.

Google says that since it launched the redesigned Google+ in November, the number of Collection follows has more than doubled. This means more people on Google+ now use these new features — though it doesn’t necessarily mean the number of Google+ users is also up.

With Create, the company wants to give some of its best users a chance to get in front of a wider audience on Google+. This includes a new section with featured collections, for example.

“We want to celebrate these inspiring creators, provide a place for them to collaborate with others, and amplify their unique voices,” the Google+ team writes today. “Google+ Create members get a verified profile, early access to new product features, a private channel with the Google+ team, and new opportunities to get their content in front of the right audience.”

The idea here is obviously to reward those users who bring the most value to the platform. How does Google decide who should be included in this program?

“We’re looking for people who have both a passion for their subject, and also put great effort and craft into their posts,” Google product manager Daniel Raynaud tells me. “Our hope is to continually evolve the program to accommodate participants around the world, that represent varying interests and passions. Magical things happen when you bring together musicians, craftspeople, athletes, photographers from around the world.”