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Google Plus Social Network

Updated on October 31, 2014
Google+ 101
Google+ 101 | Source

What is Google Plus?

Google Plus or Google+ is a social network launched on June 28, 2011, by none other than mighty Google. The initial launch was on an invite-only basis for a trial period in order to help test the platform before its public beta launch on September 20, 2011.

It is similar to Facebook in terms of online social networking with features that allow you to create a profile, upload pictures and videos, share website links, interact with friends through status updates and newsfeeds, etc. Though it is similar to Facebook, one of the major differences is the way "Friends" are configured from a privacy perspective which it achieves through "Circles".

Essentially, Google Plus Circles allow you to separate your network of Friends so that only that specific circle of contacts can see certain updates. Other G+ features include Hangouts, Communities, Instant Upload, Messenger, Pages which I will cover in more detail below. As it takes shape, another important aspect is that, it will integrate other Google services like Gmail, YouTube, Profiles, Buzz and others.

On this web page you will learn more about the G+ social network. You will also find a video overview explaining the key features of this social platform. Feel free to share your feedback and experience using Google+ in the comments section at the end of this webpage.

Poll: Google+ Social Network

Will You Join the Google Plus Social Network?

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Google+ Overview

Video Overview of Google Plus Social Network

Before we get into the details of the key features of Google Plus, take a quick peek at this short video overview of this social networking site. In the next section we will review these key individual G+ features in more detail.

Overview of Google Plus Features

Below you will find video overviews on various features of the Google Plus social network. These videos provide a brief overview of each of the individual features like Google Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, Huddle and Instant Upload:

Google Circles: is one of the key features of G+ which allows users to easily organize their Friends or Contacts in distinct groups called Circles. By separating contacts in different Circles, you can make sure that your status updates, pictures, newsfeeds are shared only with specific groups of people. For example, if you want to share an update only with family members instead of across all of your contacts, you can create a separate Circle for family members. In order to create a specific Circle, all you do is drag and drop specific contacts into that Circle.

Google Communities: is a feature that was introduced in December 2012. It allows users to create separate groups on specific topics which helps keep the topic on focus. For example, if you want to talk about hockey or food, or internet marketing or SEO, you can join these communities and engage with other individuals who are discussing the topics that interest you. You can create your own Google+ community and invite interested people to join in. Communities can be public or private.

Google Hangouts: provides a face-to-face video chat feature enabling specific friends across Circles or entire Circles, to connect instantly. Currently, only ten friends can participate in a Hangout at a given time. In order to connect with friends using Hangouts, click the green button called "Start a Hangout" and invite the recipients. Please note that you will require a webcam in order use this video chat feature, however, you can use the instant messaging feature as well.

Google Events: is a feature that allows users to create online or offline events. You can create G+ events and then invite people to attend whether it's to celebrate someone's birthday or a meeting. During events users can share pictures and videos in real-time. Events is linked to Google Calendar which is a great tool if you manage your calendar online.

Google Messenger & Instant Upload: are both Android and iPhone features. Messenger, formerly called Huddle, enables real-time group instant message chats rather than texting individually within your Circles. Instant Upload is specific to Android smart phones allowing pictures and videos to be stored in a private album to be shared later with your Circles.

Streams in G+ is a feature that easily allows you sort and check status updates and newsfeeds of your particular G+ Circles. As Google enhances this social networking site, they will be integrating other existing services like Gmail, YouTube, Profiles and others. Check the videos below.

Video Overview of Google Plus Features

Google+ Social Network Games Retired

On August 11, 2011, Google announced, on their official blog, that they were introducing Google+ games. It was rolled out in phases, therefore, in the beginning not everyone had access to G+ games as it was being tested.

Users had control over what games they play and how they choose to share them and have it appear on their social activity stream. Also, they had made it available to developers who were interested in building games on the G+ social network.

However, in May 2013, the company announced that they will be retiring G+ games effective June 30, 2013. Some of the games were migrated to alternate websites. For those users who has unused balances for their games, they were allowed to use them on the alternate platforms.

Google Plus Android & iPhone Apps

Below is a video overview of how the Google Plus Android App works including using Huddle & Instant Upload to simplify staying connected with your Circles. The Google+ iPhone App was finally approved and released on July 19, 2011.

Google+ Help

Google Plus Step-by-Step Guide

If you're new to the Google+ social network, you may find is overwhelming. To help you navigate through this social platform and set up your profile, I've created a Google+ Beginner's Guide. In this Google Plus Guide, you will learn how to set up your profile, configure your privacy settings, manage Google+ Circles, change your notification settings, and much more.

What are your thoughts on Google Plus Social Network?

Guestbook: Google Plus Social Network

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    • profile image

      jen09 writes 3 years ago

      I just joined a few days ago... we'll see how it works :-)

    • profile image

      WinWriter 3 years ago

      I'm still on the fence and haven't made up my mind yet. In the beginning, I thought it was kind of forced on me by the mighty and, sometimes too nosy, Google. I worry about the privacy aspect. Your lens is very helpful though and it sounds like it could be a positive experience.

    • profile image

      MartinTim 4 years ago

      @Jemjoseph: Google plus is a very good thing if you have any business to run. You can optimize your Google plus page for the company and it will be shown on places also.

    • Jemjoseph profile image

      Jemjoseph 4 years ago

      I'm still new to Google Plus, but so far I think it suits my needs better than Facebook or Twitter.

    • profile image

      360technosoft 4 years ago

      thank for sharing Google plus setup guide. it will really help the person who to setup google plus.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 4 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      You bet, I'm on Google plus. I left facebook because it's too low of a consciousness level to support success in today's online world. Google is higher caliber than facebook. Integrity is the new business model :D

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      I think I need to spend some time learning more about G+

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tutorial because I have been signed up for a while but really do not know how to use the site.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      Another really, really good lens from you.

    • webstatsart profile image

      webstatsart 5 years ago

      Wow. So many people writing . Well done

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      todo por la vida, la vida vidsa

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @julieannbrady: Yeah, I'm kinda surprised you're not on Google+, but I can relate. I enjoy Google applications and platforms, so decided to beta test G+ when it first launched in late June 2011. It still has a long ways to go, so it will be interesting to see how it all shapes up.

    • profile image

      socialbuzzuniversity 5 years ago

      Lots of people are skeptical about Google+ - I happen to think its here to stay and is going to compete toe to toe with Facebook!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Actually, would you believe, I am not really yet there ... felt that I was spread a little too thin lately and I am recouping. But, don't get me wrong ... Google is tops with me in more ways than one.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @socialbuzzuniversity: Yeah, I think it's easy to discount a new player in the social networking arena, especially one like Google who hasn't seen much success in the area of social networks. However, I'm with you and tend to lean towards Google becoming successful with Google+. I like that they are taking it slow and working their way up slowly, but surely.

    • ajgodinho profile image
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      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @dahlia369: Yes, Google+ Circles are really helpful and overall, I really prefer the G+ social network because of its overall functionality. Thanks much for the squid angel blessings! :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      The idea of having the circles inside my list of friends sounds good to me. There are certain things one only prefers to share with some people, not making them public. SO - it looks like I'll have to set some time aside and make myself feel at home at Google Plus some time soon. Thank you your explanations! ***Angel blessed*** :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @katiecolette: It's normal to be a little overwhelmed initially. Just take the time to review the basics and understand circles and the privacy settings. Once you spend some time on it, you definitely get the hang of it. :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Yeah, it is a personal choice that one has to make. Personally, I do use FB and Twitter a fair bit, but am impressed with G+ due to its overall functionality and versatility. It's still in its infancy, but progressing very well. I believe they will make it work this time.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      I am a little overwhelmed with how much there is to learn about Google plus - but I am sure I will get the hang of it soon :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I just heard of this here in squidoo and I still don't know much about it. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      I'm just beginning to learn about Google Plus, so I appreciate the information you've shared!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Had never been a great fan of Orkut, FB or the likes. G+ IMO, will probably stay that way on a personal front. I guess time and tide will level the playing field for new champions to emerge! :)

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Excellent lens.

    • profile image

      seobounty 6 years ago

      Great information! I think I'll try to connect with you on Google+ :)

      By the way, thanks for your support on our Squidoo lens!

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @seobounty: You're welcome...sure, I'll look out for you at Google+ :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @homebaseincome: Thanks for your feedback. I'm assuming you're talking about the G+ social network and not the Google +1 button. I tried looking for your lens but couldn't find it on your lensmaster page. It's probably new and not yet featured. I'm enjoying using Google+ so far and looking forward to the full launch.

    • homebaseincome profile image

      homebaseincome 6 years ago

      I've been using the google +1 for about a month now and grown to love it. Being able to keep people in circles and not having to share every post with every friend, is an awesome feature. I wrote a lens about the google +1 social network and your lens was shown on the left side of my lens. I'm happy I came across it. Great videos you share too.

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I've been playing around with the idea, but have not got involved yet. Thanks for the info, I will probably be there soon. =D

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      I have requested my invite, so will get in whenever Google lets more people in :)

    • profile image

      brainypal 6 years ago

      Google Plus rules!

    • profile image

      jongaub 6 years ago

      Great information, been wondering what Google plus was all about. Not anymore!

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      Thanks for creating this!

    • profile image

      uniquenewgifts 6 years ago

      I prefer Google Plus rather than FaceBook Like.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks guys for your feedback and thoughts on Google+. I'm enjoying exploring it as it's evolving since its launch. Overall, I have a positive feeling about it and see great potential. FYI, I'm caught up with all the Google+ invite requests I received.

    • manchester lm profile image

      manchester lm 6 years ago

      Fab lens.

      Personally, I love Google+. And if what I have been reading is accurate, it's achieved 10 million members already. Impressive stuff.

    • profile image

      thebabyshop 6 years ago

      I haven't joined (or been invited) yet. I'm busy on Facebook and might wait it out to see how popular Google Plus becomes. I guess you could say I'm a bandwagon jumper in terms of social networking!

    • profile image

      abraxasdiscala 6 years ago

      Great Lens! I liked it too!! Thanks AJ Discala

    • iandrzej lm profile image

      iandrzej lm 6 years ago

      Great information about Google +1, hoping for its success as having some doubts...

    • profile image

      klanklareaux 6 years ago

      I am on Google+ and found it easy to use. Let's see in the next few weeks what Google+ has in stored for me. Great lens and very informative.

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      Anthony, thanks again! I'm giving Google Plus a try, thanks to you and your lens!

    • profile image

      lykawinnett 6 years ago

      Yes, I'm on Google Plus and still exploring its features. So far I'm enjoying it.

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      Well I didn't receive any information from Google Plus about this but I will definitely join should one come my way!

    • profile image

      delorarozario 6 years ago

      Nice! :)

    • profile image

      mumsgather 6 years ago

      I wonder how it will do compared to facebook. Interesting.

    • profile image

      ShaneRoger 6 years ago

      I am on Google+ now! Seems really polished and super fast as compared to facebook.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice article also checkout http://monline.in/?p=275 for Facebook Vs GooglePlus Comparison.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @WindyWintersHubs: Hi Wendy, yeah, Google+ is new and just launched on Jun 28th only to limited number of users and is currently by invite-only. Currently, G+ is linked to the name attached to your email address so that's the name that will appear. Though, you can change it through Account Settings. G+ is changing almost daily so we can expect many upcoming changes.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Hi. This is the first time I have heard of this new Google site. I have a Facebook account under my real name. It will be interesting to see if they allow usernames or if you have to use your real name like Facebook. Thanks for your info.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      FYI, I've sent Google+ invites to all who have requested so far. There seems to be a delay in receiving them so please be patient. Also, I've deleted some of the posts from this comments section because they contained people's gmail addresses. Please be careful when asking for G+ invites, people are already out there scamming and spamming.

    • pramodbisht profile image

      pramodbisht 6 years ago

      its gonna rock over the world now

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Kirilov: Thanks for your feedback. Google+ is currently in it's basic state and we can expect it to evolve in the coming days, weeks and months. Thanks for the suggestion on the add-ons as well, I will probably create a separate lens on that. I do have separate lenses for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers which I will feature more prominently on this lens - for now, they are on the sidebar.

    • profile image

      Kirilov 6 years ago

      Good introduction to Google+ and basic functionality it offers. You also should consider there are mighty tools to socialize and publicize content through various browser add-ons that are offered for free. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • profile image

      adamwilliams 6 years ago

      Google plus gonna rock over the world now, some competition for facebook now

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @MikeyMoran LM: Appreciate your feedback on Google+, Mike. I agree, it will be interesting to see what enhancements and developments lie ahead in the coming weeks and months.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @AuthorNormaBudden: LOL, keeping up with many of the developments is indeed quite the task. I was in two minds whether I should check Google+ out or not, but decided to go with it mainly because I believe this one could be big. I liked the concept of circles too. Anyway, I did send you an invite.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 6 years ago

      AJ, you never cease when it comes to introducing me to new ideas, platforms and so on. I learn so much from you; you're my main source of news regarding what's happening in the Internet world and I think it's absolutely terrific. I can relax and let you teach me all things new with the single click of a link. :)

      Great presentation as always. Short and to the point. I'm definitely going to request an invite to this platform even if I explore it more after vacation.

    • profile image

      Joan4 6 years ago

      I am just learning my way around Google Plus, but I do think the possibilities are endless!

    • MikeyMoran LM profile image

      MikeyMoran LM 6 years ago

      I have Google Plus and think it is great thus far. The Android app is amazing for a first version. Interested to see what more there is to come.

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @pkmcruk: Indeed it will be interesting to see how it all evolves, Paul. I have a positive feeling that they are here to stay, but only time will tell. I'm sure Facebook is scrabbling to do all they can to ensure that they maintain their spot.

    • pkmcruk profile image

      pkmcr 6 years ago from Cheshire UK

      Really excellent resource for something which I suspect is going to become a significant part of our online activity

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      @ajgodinho: AJ, I really want it to be "the answer." It's time for something to come along that does great consolidation. Google, though it's not perfect, "is" great, and so who better? Just waiting to see if it's really going to solve some of the online issues that need solving. ...A new-frontier expectation here. :)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @GrowWear: I felt that same way when I first heard of it, but since it's the big G, I decided to test it and see how it shapes us, especially from an SEO perspective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts regarding Google+

    • profile image

      GrowWear 6 years ago

      Glad you've done this resource. Although I'm not eager to take on another network, Plus could very well become the best site for SMO, and that would be quite compelling. Keeping a lookout. :)

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      I didn't know about all of these features though I've met Google Plus already- thanks for "educating" me on the subject:)

    • ajgodinho profile image
      Author

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Sojourn: I totally hear you and can relate to your thoughts on social networks and being part of them. It's too early to say right now, but I have positive hopes that online marketers will be able to leverage from Google+ from an SEO perspective as well. Right now, I'm focused more on testing the platform more than anything else and seeing how it takes shape.

    • profile image

      Sojourn 6 years ago

      Not sure I want to even think about another social networking outlet nor am I keen on using my Droid to attach to said network. Good overview, though. I didn't realize there was more than just the Google+ vote thing. I do sometimes with Google would stick with search and leave social networking alone. ;)

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      Thanks for explaining a bit more about the Google Plus program! Much appreciated!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Another wonderfully great work of you.. my friend :)