Are you on the newest social network, Google+? If not, you most likely will be very soon and as either a new user or a user in waiting, knowing what to expect and how to navigate Google+ will enable you to enjoy the latest social network to hit the social sphere.
How Can You Get On Google+?
Right now, you will need an invite to access Google+, however there are close to 10 million people who have exclusive access and it is continuing to grow, you can receive an invite from anyone of the early adapters using the social network.
What Are Google+ Circles and How Can I Use Them Effectively?
Once you have access to Google+ you will have the ability to sort your connections within “circles”, mimicking the various “circle of people” we have within our lives and purposed for the various “social circles” they fit into our lives.
We are use to the words “follow”, “like” or “friend” when networking on social networks, however, we will have a new word to insert into our vocabulary that will serve the same purpose, known as “Circles”.
To use the “circles” feature on Google+ simply drag and drop people you connect with on the site into circles pre-made for you or completely switch it up by titling your own circles. Separating people will give you the ease of sharing with whom you would like regarding what you are posting. It is best to do this as soon as you begin connecting on the site to keep people sorted and make the use of the site more effective.
What Are the Benefits to Google+ Circles?
You will have the ability to be able to share information and status updates with different circles of people, i.e. Share with only “co-workers” in a circle you create that you add with people you work with. Google+ circles will enhance your experience by providing you with the ability to CHOOSE whom you want to share your content with or not.
What is a Google+ Hangout?
Google+ Hangout is one of its unique features Google+ is currently offering on the site, allowing people to connect via a hangout by simply clicking the “start a hangout” button located on the right-hand side of your Google+ feed. Once you click on the button, a pop-up window will appear and it is then that you will be able to voice chat, video chat and instant message with the maximum of ten people. You choose the people from inviting “all circles” or circles of your choice; you can even open it to the public.
Giving you the ability to watch a YouTube video within the “hangout”, notifying everyone you are “hanging out” with, which will allow him or her to also share in what you are viewing by clicking on the “YouTube” button located at the bottom of the pop-up screen. Once you have created and shared a “hangout”, it will show within newsfeeds the “hangout” along with the faces and names of the people you “hung out” with and depending on your setting will or will not allow people to “join the hangout”.
Can You Instantly Upload on Google+?
Yes, you can! Google+ has enabled the ease of uploading photos and videos directly onto the Google+ platform, eliminating the process of retrieving images and video off your phone. Instead, simply use “Instead Upload” on Google+ and choose the “circles” you want to share them with without the hassle or worry of who sees your photos.
What is Google+ Sparks?
Google+ Sparks is a search engine you are able to type your interests into, and it will send you stuff based on what you have searched for, then you can “add them to your interests”, so you will never be bored again.
What is a Google+ Huddle?
Google+ has not forgotten those who absolutely love their mobile devices, therefore, they have integrated Google+ Huddle. This feature allows you to multi-text people, creating a “huddle” that simplifies making plans to having a question answered, not to mention the time you will save using this feature.
Thus far, these are the main Google+ features that you can use freely on the site.
Other Information You Should Know About Google+
- The newsfeed within the Google+ platform is in real-time and auto updates.
- You receive notifications on the top-right hand corner of your page to see who has re-shared, commented, and added you to their “circles” or Google+ 1’ed your posts.
- Anyone can add you to his or her “circles”, yet, you do have the opportunity to choose who you want within yours and you can “hide” those that you do not want to add within your “circles”.
- Google+ 1 is much like the “like” feature known widely on other Social Networks and on the web.
- Your photos are shared automatically on Picasa, a photo-sharing site that Google has acquired, which automates a collage of all of your Google+ friends pictures, making it faster to browse pictures.
- If there is something posted and showing in your feed that you do not like, you are able to “hide” the feed as well as if you are receiving too many notifications of a post you G+1 or commented on, you are able to “mute the post” to stop receiving notifications.
- When you sign-up to Google+ it is configured for you to receive e-mails as a default setting. You will want to change that under your Google+ settings; it does get a little hectic and will flood your e-mail.
- Right from Google+ you are able to access your Gmail account, photos, Google Docs, Google reader the web and more, opening them in a new tab.
Here is a Google+ Cheat Sheet to help you get The Most out of the Latest Social Site.
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What do you think of Google+ thus far?
Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Specialist who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin on Twitter or read more Social Media Articles written by Erin Ryan.
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