Google Plus What?

July 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Posted in Technical Tips | Leave a comment
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Two weeks ago, I became one of the cool kids and was invited to join the new social network Google+. Although Google+ is still in its trial phase and invitation-only, even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has joined. As posted by Raymond Lau on techgoondu, Google+ is no Facebook killer (yet?), but it certainly offers a number of improvements and additional features. As most early adopters will attest , the potential for Google+ is quite impressive.

First of all, people management uses the “Circles” feature. To add a person to your network, you must first choose a circle. When sharing and following posts, you use the circles as a convenient grouping mechanism. By default, you have circles for friends, family, acquaintances, and those people whose posts you are following.

Circles Feature

Secondly, the profile feature demonstrates more granular security than Facebook and other networking platforms. Parts of your profile, such as occupation, employment, and education, can be visible to anyone on the Web, while other parts, such as home address and places you have lived, can be visible only to your circles. You can even preview how your profile will appear to  others without having to log out or ask friends to send you screenshots:

Granular Security in Profiles

Finally, Google+ leverages its powerful search engine in the +1 and “Sparks” features. Similar to recommendations in Facebook, +1 allows you to share search engine results with people in your circle. Sparks allow you to create a custom search accessible to you and others from your main Google+ page. There are a few presets to get you started.

Sparks Feature

This just scratches the surface of what Google+ offers. There is also a messaging feature named Huddle and ad hoc video conferencing with Hangouts. And if you are also one of the cool kids, you might find this list of tips and shortcuts helpful.

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