The redesign did not bring any major new features. Exciting new features would be too logical for Google+ to compete against the likes of Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Instead, Google+ brought the white space.
Other social networks fill every inch of your screen with needless crap and advertisements. Google+ reminds you to breath and relax with a huge swath of warm, white screen.
Embrace the white space. Love the white space. Make the white space a part of your very core.
For soon enough, the white space will be filled with contextual advertisements that suck the very soul out of your circles.