What is Google+?
Google+ was launched in 2011, as Google’s way to establish a vibrant social network of their own. It offers a mixture of features that one might be familiar with from Facebook and Twitter. It is growing very quickly, but many are still unsure if it will become a stable network, or go the way of Google Buzz, which was recently shuttered by Google.
List of Google+ features
Google+ offers a unique range of features intended to connect you with others, and provide channels for interaction, not just “following.” These include:
- Circles: help you manage those you are connected with.
- Streams: these are akin to newsfeeds from those you have added to circles.
- Status updates can be longer and include images and videos. You also have the option to share your updates with only specific circles or make them public.
- Hangouts: a video chat service where multiple people can join a conversation.
There are many other features within Google+, and more being added on a regular basis. Those listed above will help you get comfortable with the most basic uses of the platform.
How do I get started with Google+?
You can join by logging in with your existing Google account or by creating a new one. Once you join, complete your profile, and begin connecting with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances by adding them to circles. Google starts you off with some generic circles, but you can create custom circles that suit your social life.
You can also choose to follow thought-leaders or others that you want to hear from, but may not know personally.
Finally, read the streams of content that others are sharing, and consider posting your own updates. Like many social networks, you learn best by doing.