Google Plus

Google Plus

Posted on 12 August 2011 by Darryl

After a few false starts in social networking with Orkut, microblogging service Jaiku and Google Buzz. On June 28th 2011, Google launched a social network called Google Plus.

A few weeks after launch, it is rumoured to have over 25million users and millions of items shared.

This blog will discuss some of the key features in Google Plus.

Circles

When a person adds you to Google plus, or you add a person to Google+, you place them in a social circle, this allows you to control what and who you share stuff with.

Google makes adding people to circles extremely easy and intuitive- simply tick the circles you wish that friend to be in or on the circles page drag and drop the person into a circle.

By default Google+ comes with 4 circles set up, but you can create your own.

  • Friends
  • Family
  • Acquaintances
  • Following


For example you might wish to have a ‘work colleague’ circle or a ‘I had a conversation with these people once in my entire life’ circle.

The circles you assign people to are completely private, they will never know if you regard them as a friend, colleague, acquaintance or creep. People can be assigned to multiple circles.

Stream

At the top of the stream there is a share box which you can share text, pictures, links, videos or your current location – Pretty much an exact copy of Facebook.

The key difference is Google Plus allows you to select who you want to share the item with. Google+ allows you to share those drunken night out photos with your friends and not your mother or boss.

Profile

The profile page is how other people view your Google+ profile. Its split into multiple sections

  • Posts – Your posts and people who have posted to you –What appears in the posts section is dependent on which circle the viewer is in.
  • About – Profile page where you can enter information such as employment, education, bragging rights and various other things
  •  Photos  
  • Videos – if you have shared any videos .
  • +1’s – Similar to Facebooks like button, this page allows you to ‘publish’ a list of all the pages you have +1’d
  •  Buzz – Your Google Buzz messages.

Google makes it easy to see what your friends or family will see of your profile by entering the person’s name in the ‘View Profile as’ text box.

Photos

Uploading photos is extremely easy! You can drag-and-drop photos from your desktop or click on the upload button.

The Android and iPhone app will upload a photo taken from your phone to Google plus instantly – don’t worry they remain private until you say otherwise (and you can turn instant upload off).

You can create and put pictures into albums, much like Facebook but you decide which circle or circles of friends you wish to share the album with.

Hangouts

Google hangout’s is where you can select a group of friends (up to 10 people) that can video chat with each other all on one screen.
 


Sparks

Sparks allows you to find content that interests you from around the web. You simple search for something you are interested in and create it as a spark. You can share articles with your circles and +1 them.

Games

Google+ will be rolling out games, you can play from within Google+ in the coming weeks – Already games such as Angry Birds, Bejewelled, Sudoko and others are available. I’d imagine it’s only a matter of time before Zygna’s Farmville will be on Google+ (Google is one of Zygna’s investors)

Companies

Social Media is becoming increasing popular with brands and companies setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts to interact with their customers.

Google Plus, at the time writing, is only for individuals but the company and brand Google Plus pages/profiles are imminent.

How do I Join?

Google is rolling out Google+ slowly; using an invite system - You can sign up to let google notify you when invitations are available or each user can invite 150 friends to Google Plus, so ask people you know!

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