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Google +

What is it?
Google+ is the new ‘kid on the block’ and it was launched in June 28, 2011 by Internet giant Google. As of June 2012, it has a total of 250 million registered active users (according to the Washington Post; June 26, 2012) compared to Facebook’s nearly 800 million (BBC News; June 6, 2011).

The idea behind Google+ is to make every existing Google product socially compatible. The company certainly has a lot to work with, including Picasa, Gmail and Google Maps and information and functions from all of these will be integrated into the Google+ experience so that you don’t have to sign into different services to share content.

Each Google+ profile will center around the Stream, which is essentially the same thing as Facebook’s news feed – where all of your info and updates from your friends are rounded up and constantly updated. The Stream will be joined by four core elements – Circles, Hangouts, Huddle and Sparks – with Google hinting that these are the starting block for future developments.

Fun Facts


  • Due to Google+ being young in terms of social media, it is still unknown at its reach. The Los Angeles Times reported on Dec. 27, 2011, that the site was adding an estimated number of 625,000 new users a day, which is projected to total 400 million members by the end of 2012. However, on February 28, 2012 Todd Wasserman from Mashable reported Google+ users are only spending 3.3 minutes monthly on Google+ which is a downward trend from 4.8 minutes in December and 5.1 minutes in November compared to Facebook users currently spending 7.5 hours monthly.

Getting Started

The best source to learn all about Google+ can be found here, it includes write-ups on each feature, written directions and videos.

Google Terms

  • Circles
    : Google wants to make sharing online more like sharing in real life – different things with different people. For example, you might want to catch up with your pals about your Saturday, but you don’t necessarily want your co-workers in your chat. You can keep your conversations separate by putting your contacts into ‘circles’ such as ‘Work crew’, ‘Uni mates’ and ‘Parents’.
  • Hangouts: As the name suggests, this feature is all about hanging out with your buddies, virtually, or course. You can choose specific friends, or circles, to invite for a face-to-face video chat and anyone in the Hangout can invite others to join as well. The difference from other online services is that you can include more than two people in each chat – something that not all video calling services currently offer.
  • Huddle: You know when you’re trying to arrange a night out by having several different text conversations with a number of friends? If so, you’ll know how long-winded and confusing it can become. The idea behind Huddle is that you can turn all these exchanges into one big group chat to save you time.
  • Sparks: Tell Sparks what sort of stuff you’re into and it’ll send you things that you might be interested in that you can then watch, read or share. For example, you could type ‘Films’ into the search box and see what comes up. If you like the results, then you can click the ‘Add Interest’ button to add Films to your list of important subjects.

Source: via a+g on Pinterest

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