Google+ is the newest and most anticipated social networking site that I can remember hearing about for some time. Google claims it does much more than other sites used by most people and that it ties Google’s most popular features together, making it much easier to manage your public profile, as well as, streamlining how you interact with friends, family and business associates and spend your leisure web time.
Google+ is now live, and chances are you have already starting seeing the +1 button showing up on website pages and even in your search results.
Here is a quick look at how Google + works:
Google Circles – these are your friends; you can organize them by lists, such as Childhood Friends or Family, to easily target messaging, share images, music and other important things with only who you want.
Sparks – is a reader similar to the current Google Reader, that brings content you are interested in directly to you on topic specific Spark pages; easily categorized, your interests will be streamlined, thus saving you search time and having to scroll through unwanted material.
Hangouts – is a video chat room where you can interact with friends in your Google Circles lists.
Notes for Mobile Devices
For mobile devices Google+ is currently available as an Android App, (iPhone app on the way) and offers two significant services:
- Hudddles – is a targeted messaging program that uses your Google Circles list.
- The App will also automatically upload photos to Google+ to share with your Circles members when you take them with your mobile device.
How to get in the action
If you are invited to join, the first step is to accept the invitation to join and finish the simple registration process. You will then notice a change to your gray toolbar at the top of our Google homepage. The bar will become transparent gray and a, "+You" tab will join the Images, News and other tabs currently on the bar.
Clicking the +You tab will give you access to all the features mentioned above.
Reviews are being closely guarded by Google, but the information I have seen shows positive results thus far.
The competition for social network users is fierce in today's market as more people are using these sites to manage lives and businesses. Google is counting on branding and reputation to set it above other providers. Releasing Google+ by invitation has done a great job at generating buzz on the net and will undoubtedly generate a surge of users as more invitations become available.