Beginner's Guide to Google+
Google+: an introduction
Released to the public in September 2011, Google+ is the world’s most powerful search engine’s response to other social websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Like all social websites, Google+ has the usual properties such as creating your own public profile, connecting with friends online, sharing photos and playing games. But in addition to all these, the major draw card of Google+ is its automatic integration with all the other features of Google that you use in your everyday life such as Search, News, Gmail to name just a few.
Profile: it's all about you
If you have used other social websites like Facebook before, then the profile function of Google+ should be no stranger to you. Here, other people will be able to view your photo, read your background information and see your latest updates. You have full control over who can see your profile as well as how much of it is visible to them.
Circles & Hangouts: a way to connect
With Circles, Google+ gives you the ability to organize the people you are connected with into distinct groups. There are several default circles including Friends, Family and Acquaintances but you can always create more circles if you need to. Not only do Circles allow you ease of access to particular group of people, you are also able to define different privacy settings for specific Circles.
Hangouts give you the ability to use live video chat with up to nine people at a time. There is also the ability to watch YouTube videos together while video chatting.
Explore & +1: discovering new things
In Explore, you can view the public posts of all Google+ users, whether you know them or not. This is a great way to keep up with the latest news, connect with people who share your interests and view what is currently trending on Google+. In addition, based on your interests, Google+ also lists some recommendations that you may like to follow.
+1 is similar to Facebook’s “like” function. You can use it to support a particular post that you enjoyed reading or draw attention to a website or blog that you just visited.
Google+ bar: a handy integration
Even if you haven’t used Google+ yet, whenever you used the Google search page in the past, you may have noticed there is now a black toolbar running across the top of the webpage. This is the Google+ bar and it enables you the user quick access to all the other handy Google products such as Gmail, Images, Maps, YouTube, News and more. If you are signed in to Google+ (or any of the other Google products), this toolbar enables you to quickly access the other Google products with you already logged in. In other words, one username and password allows you access to all the Google products out there.
Overall, Google+ is a relatively new social website that has grown by leaps and bounds since its launch in September 2011. Its similarity to existing social websites will enable new users to quickly familiarize themselves with its functions. In addition, its powerful integration with the already frequently accessed Google products such as Gmail and YouTube will make it difficult for users to leave the Google website.