Google announced a the new Google Groups yesterday that is, of course, in the Beta stage. Take a look at the screenshot above that is from the Google Groups Beta Tour…looks an awful lot like GMail doesn’t it? Of course it does! GMail has got to be Google’s most popular service (next to the search engine) and the reason being their clean, simple, and productive interface. Google seems to be transitioning everything over to the GMail-like interface because Google Reader just got the same kind of facelift last week.

With the new Google Groups Beta you can really customize the look so that it doesn’t look so…blah. The coolest feature is probably the ability to add a website to your group that everyone can edit and contribute to the content. Here is how Google sees people using this:

Create web pages right inside your group
Use it for information about your group, shared documents, or anything you want to publish online. Any member can view, contribute to, and comment on the pages, from right within your group.

Build a knowledge base
Capture the content and information that may already be in your discussions, in a way that’s more easily accessible. Have a group for discussing the best restaurants in your area? Why not create a page that lists members’ favorite restaurants?

The new look is much better than the old one and I find it to be much more readable now. Before it seemed difficult to be able to sit down and read a group for a long period of time but it feels like I am reading my email now. Google did a nice job and now it has me thinking what else they will change to the GMail interface.

Thanks to everyone who sent in this tip!