What Is Google Plus? The Newest Social Networking Site
By now, you’ve probably already heard about the hottest topic in social networking … Google+. Maybe you’ve heard some of the terms like circles, friends, sparks, hangouts, etc., or even had people asking whether or not you’ve received your invitation. I received an invitation from one of my good friends and I’ve only scratched the surface of Google+. The world of technology is changing at break-neck speed, so companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and a few others are forever spinning their wheels in order to stay ahead of each other.
Read what Peter M. Garian has to say about all of the excitement and benefits the new social networking site is offering to those who are always READY for the NEXT Big Thing in social media.
Google+ is Google’s newest attempt to gain traction in the social networking world. And believe it or not, they may have something that will stick. Google Plus is very easy to use and has a short learning curve. The new social networking site has many interesting features as well, one of which goes by the name Circles. Circles seems to redefine the way we will “friend” on social networking sites. With other social networking sites, you pretty much have to choose – friends or not friends. There are some advanced settings that can help you share content with only certain people, but it requires that you pay attention. However, with the “Circles” feature, your boss and co-workers are not in the same “friend pile” as your college frat buddies. Therefore, you are easily able to share content with certain people and not others, and it does this almost automatically. Circles allows you to filter your friends, co-workers, neighbors and family all into different categories or circles. Circles also gives you the ability to choose what content you share with which friends. Very cool feature.
Other features of the new Google Plus are:
Stream – Your stream is like your newsfeed that you see with Facebook. When you log in, just like FB, you are taken to the home page where you will see the most recent activity. It will update you with activity from friends and others. And similar to other social networking sites, you will be able to see what’s happening in real-time through your “stream”.
Sparks – This feature brings you information on topics you are interested in, right to your profile. Unlike your “newsfeed” your sparks feature generates content based on the “spark” you have shown interest in. For example, if you are someone interested in running/jogging, you choose the topic “running” in your sparks category. Now, when you check your “sparks” feed – you get information from Google search that Google believes to be the most relevant, based on your interest in “running.” You will be able to see the most recent and most relevant information on your topics of interest or Sparks, as they happen!
Hangouts – Google+ allows users to socialize using video chat with the feature “Hangouts.” Video chat is nothing new. However, Google Plus is the first social networking platform to offer it. At this time, a max of 10 people can all “hang out” at the same time. The main speaker of the “hangout” is featured in the center of the window; the screens showing everyone else in the group are in a row at the bottom. While connected, users can share links in a text chat which is typical of most chat programs. However, with Google+ Hangouts, you have the ability to watch YouTube videos at the same time and all from within the same screen.
It seems that Google Plus is a force to be reckoned with. So many people are using Google search already. Now, from this point on, your social networking experience will become more and more integrated into Google Search results. You will see what other friends and acquaintances are using and recommending through Google and that’s the real power of social media and social networking. Thumbs up for Google Plus!
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