Google has announced yet more features for its social network as it tries to give people yet more reasons to use the service.

"Today we're rolling out two new features: 1) real-time search results; and 2) improved hashtag support. Together, we're trying to make it easier to follow and contribute to live events on Google+, including breaking news, sporting events, and many others," writes Vic Gundotra via Google+ about the new features.

Now when you search in Google+, you'll see a message about new posts the instant they're available, while those that use hashtags, as is common on Twitter, will be able to see search results linked to them.

The new features are now live.

Google is probably hoping that the new features will help retain people, who according to reports, are leaving in droves. According to recent estimates Google+ has seen a 60 per cent loss in web traffic since it opened its gates to the general public on 20 September. 

Google+ remained, until 20 September, an invite only affair, the idea being that it would help drum up anticipation and interest in the site. Once the website did open its doors to the public it saw a 1200 per cent traffic spike in just a single day, but since then it has dropped 60 per cent. 

Chitika, a web analytics firm, has released a report which gives some pointers as to why Google+ is flagging so badly in the traffic stakes.