Google+: What It is And How it Works [Screenshot Tour]
By on June 30th, 2011

So you have successfully created your Google Plus profile, still getting the hang of it, and want to know the inside details and working of Google plus. If you haven’t joined Google Plus yet, try requesting an invitation for Google Plus here and read our guide on setting up your Google Plus profile for the first time.

What Is Google Plus And How it Works?

Google Plus is a new initiative from Google, which aims to simplify your social sharing experience and connect with people who matter to you in real life. But wait…don’t we already have Facebook, Twitter and dozens of social sharing sites already?

Yes, but Google plus takes a different approach towards social sharing, and this guy has better privacy control on the features provided.

Don’t you hate it when a random friend adds you to a stupid Facebook group? Do you go mad when you receive tons of spam mentions on Twitter? They are all public and anyone can find it via a simple search [@your_Twitter-handle]. Are you fed up with people who mass tag you in photos and videos, which really gets in the way of your social privacy? You don’t want to remove those friends from your social life, it’s just that you want to prevent them from doing the same nonsense over and over again.

Enter Google Plus same social sharing and connections but no more fiddling with user privacy. In Google Plus, your friends or followers will have to take prior permission from you, if they want you to tag in a photo or video. There is no Wall so the question of spam links and malicious apps being posted on your profile is burned to death.

If you tag someone in a post, and share it only with him, none else can see it. Not even mutual friends !

How Circles In Google + Works

Everything in Google + works through Circles.

A Circle is an identifier for the network you create and it is visible to you only. You can create as many circles as you want, and add friends to one or more circles that you have created. No one except you will be able to see the name and visibility of your Google Plus circles.

google-plus-circles

The best thing regarding Google Plus is that Google will automatically scan your email contact list and Android contacts and suggest you people whom you might want to follow. You may add these people to your circles through a beautiful and intuitive drag-and-drop interface.

If you want to follow a celebrity or a famous person on Google Plus, simply search for his name on the search box and add him to a circle you have created. Again, this circle is visible only to you so you can safely name it anything you want.

find-people

 

Your Google Plus Life Stream

Your Google Plus life stream will contain updates from all the people whom you are following. This includes photos, status updates, videos and comments from people whom you have added to your Google + circles.

google-plus-stream

Filtering Updates From Specific Circles

On the right pane, you will notice that all the circles are listed one after another. Click the name of a circle and you should see the filtered life stream, containing updates from people who have been added to that particular circle only. This is super useful and helps you to stay in touch with family members, and friends, so you never miss out catching up the updates of quietpeople among those who are highly active on Google plus.

filtered-stream

Your Google Plus Notifications

On the top right corner of your Google plus profile, you will notice a sleek notifications button. This little kid will continue monitoring your Google plus activity and alert you whenever someone comments in a post you commented earlier, someone replies to your status update or tags you in a photo uploaded by you.

google-plus-notifications

Further, you will see a brief preview of which of your friends are participating in a discussion within your circle. This is really nice and quite similar to Facebook, the only difference here is that there would be no notification like Mr X tagged you in a photo. Anyone who wants to tag you in a photo will have to obtain your prior permission, which is very very useful and a godsend.

Chat With Plus One Buddies Or Email Them

Every social network has an option to send instant messages to their followers and friends and Google Plus is no exception. The chat widget is placed down the bottom of right pane where you can click the name of a person and send him an instant message right away.

Contrary to Facebook and Twitter, there is no way to send private messages to your Google plus friends and contacts. Instead, there is a handy option called Email’ placed right below the profile photo of your Google Plus friend, click it and you can send a private message directly to his email inbox.

send-email-google-plus-one

Please note that your friends can choose whether he wants to allow you to send him an email or not. In some profiles, you may not find the Email Meoption, this is because the person has customized his email settings to suit his needs.

Controlling Email Notifications

For all your Google Plus activity, you will receive email notifications to the email address you used to sign up for Google Plus. Individual notification settings can be toggled from the notifications page

google-plus-account-settings1

Google plus In Android

Android users can install the official Google plus application using this link. Here are some screenshots of Google plus application for Android [thanks Sathya]

google-plus-android-app-screenshots

There are a lot of other tips and tricks for Google plus which you should learn. We are still digging out more features, settings and shortcuts for Google plus, come back soon!

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Author: Amit Banerjee Google Profile for Amit Banerjee
Amit has been writing for Techie Buzz since early 2009 and keeps a close eye on web apps, Google and all things Tech. He also writes at his own tech blog, Ampercent. Follow him on Twitter @ amit_banerjee

Amit Banerjee has written and can be contacted at amit@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.yourdigitalspace.com Swamykant

    This is very cool Social Network.. But google has to work more to compete with Facebook :)

  • http://www.which-laptop.com which-laptop

    This is seriously neater than Facebook. Like the privacy, love the streams. Twitter needs streams in a hurry.

    Will it ever become the dominant social media system? I hope so but doubt if all those Facebook millions will want to change.

  • http://www.mobiledownloadblog.com mobile

    Cant wait to get hands on to it. Can any one send me invitation? Can I create the account using the android mobile app if I install it on my Desire HD?

    • Nick

      Right not it seems that using the droid app, its telling you that you need an invite first… so it would be safe to say you would need to use the web interface first to get signed up, then you can begin using the app.

  • http://saygeek.blogspot.com Darrin Jenkins

    Great article. I appreciate the information especially since I can’t get on the site personally. Well done.

  • Amin

    Great article, now I really want to try it!
    Please send me an invite if possible:
    physicsmaester[at]gmail[dot]com

    • Amin

      Sorry, I posted this on the wrong article, didn’t mean to request at the incorrect place. Great article though!

  • http://www.huge-list-of-free-classified-websites.blogspot.com/ Free Classified Websites

    Hope Google would extend invitations to more webmasters in their first or second phase of invitations. Else the buzz would not be a buzz.

  • Vishal

    please send me a google plus invitation….please Thank You.

  • Chris

    So if you update your ‘stream’ everyone sees it and if you update a circle, only that circle sees it?

    • KD

      When you post you choose which of your circles can see that post, that way you can share your posts with selected groups of people

  • jaimeatarte

    Very cool and I think it will win out over facebook because in march of 2012 facebook will start charging its users.

  • Alex Thomas

    I dont understand one thing. how do i leave a post on a friends profile? like writing on a friends wall on FB

  • http://www.ilibrary.co.in Sidharth Patnaik

    Hey Amit can you please tell me when he google plus is gonna Launch again ??
    Because The registrations are closed !!

  • http://www.matthewsodoma.com Matthew Sodoma

    Thank you for the useful information on Google + Amit. I’ve been using ping.fm to post to my social networks, but now I plan on using this information to help promote my blogs at http://www.matthewsodoma.com and http://www.daytodaylivefree.com

    -Matthew Sodoma

  • Pingback: Google Plus for Journalists: An Introduction | Zombie Journalism

 
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