Sometimes it can get hard to keep all of the different social media platforms straight, especially if you don’t know much about each one. But Google is a household name at this point, so you should learn about it’s newest feature known as Google+. You’ve probably heard the name Google+ here and there, but you may not know what it’s all about or how it works. Well, welcome to the crash course; Google+ 101.
Google+ is the social networking platform of the world’s largest and most popular search engine site, Google. This tool incorporates all of Google’s products including search, Google Maps, Gmail, etc. into one network. Debuted in June 2011, Google+ places everything from a users network into one place. Google created this social networking platform so that everything users want could be viewed and used in one comprehensive dashboard. The tools offered through Google+ include:
Profile: Like any other social media network, Google+ lets you create your own profile both public and personal. Your full name and gender are visible to the general public, but everything else in your Google+ profile (including your picture) can be chosen to be shared on your profile or not.
Circles- This unique Google+ feature refers to how you organize your contacts. You can separate each social circle into different categories i.e. colleagues, family and friends. For each different Google+ circle, you can customize how you choose to interact and what information is shared with them.
Chats and Hangouts- Google+ provides this social networking feature as a way to connect with others in real time via instant messaging, group conversations or live video chat. Google+ Chat allows you to directly communicate with those you’ve shared chatting privileges with on your Google account. You can invite (or uninvite) different contacts from your Google+ circles.
Stream- One of the most beneficial tools from Google+ is the stream feature that is similar to a news feed. Its meant to be a central dashboard for all of the content shared by those connections you’ve made with other Google+ users. Information used in the Stream from Google+ include images, links, videos, texts and maps.
Sparks- Google+ presents you with a variety of “sparks” or areas of interest that you can add or subtract from your profile. Sparks on your Google+ profile can say a lot about who you are and what you like, and you can share these sparks with people in your circles in different ways.
In addition to these features, Google+ has made its social networking platform mobile user friendly, provided the ability to upload and share photos and aims to make sharing content and connections as easy as possible. The best part about Google+ is how well organized it is and how easy the interface is to use.