Google Plus is the latest social networking site. Google has attempted to break into social networking ever since Myspace, Facebook and Twitter made the field popular over the past 10 years.
The profile style of Google Plus is very similar to how Facebook looked before Timeline. However, it is quite intuitive and easily accessed.
Before Setting Up Your Google Plus Account
1. Google Plus only works with active Google profiles. If you do not already have a Google account, you will need to create one before signing up for Google Plus.
2. Google apps accounts will not work for Google Plus. You can only use an ordinary Gmail addresses and not Google apps addresses.
3. If used Windows Live Hotmail, or Yahoo email to create a Google account, you can use that for Google Plus but be certain that you have made a Google profile and that it is visible to the public.
Creating Your Google Plus Profile
Once you have created a Google account, go to Google Plus by typing google.com/+ into your navigation bar. Sign in with your Google account, you are set to go! Now it is time to optimize your account so that you get the most out of the experience.
Setting Up Your Circles
Google Plus allows you to categorize your contacts into distinct groups called circles. Once you have created your circles, you can pick what to share with each group. You can also decide which groups you would to be available to for chatting, and from which you would prefer to stay hidden.
1. Click the circles icon (4th from the left) at the top of the page.
2. This will bring up a new page where you will see thumbnails of contacts and a series of circles below those. The circles are labelled, from left to right, “drop here to create a circle”, “friends”, “family”, “acquaintances”, and “following”. Simply drag and drop people from your contacts into the appropriate circle. The circle that says, “drop here to create a circle”, is for any group you want to create that is not already covered by one of the other circles.
3. For the default circles, the ones already labelled as “family”, “friends”, and so on, no other steps are necessary as Google will automatically save your selections. Whenever you create new circles, click the “create circle” link after dragging the desired contacts into it. In the box that pops up, type the name for your new circle and then click “create circle with x people in it”.
4. Now your circle will show up as a literal circle on your profile. You can drag more contacts into your circles to expand them at any time.
Configuring Your Privacy Settings
Since you will be sharing a lot of information with various people in your circles, it is a good idea to know how to manage your privacy settings. These settings will allow you to make your profile private or public, and let you control what content is visible to specific circles.
1. At the top of your profile page, in the right hand corner, is your name, followed a “share” link, followed by a gear icon. Click the gear icon, then click “privacy”.
2. A new page will come up. On the left side of the page will be a list of links “profile and privacy”, “Google+”, “Products”, “Language” and “Data liberation”. The page will be on the first link, “profile and privacy”, by default. The remainder of the page will have a detailed description of each feature that falls under the selected link category.
3. Next to each feature is a button link such as, “edit visibility on profile”, “manage circles”, and so on depending on what applies.
4. Click these links to get to a list of privacy options for each feature. Select the option you desire.
Setting Up a Business Page on Google Plus
Google Plus allows you to set up business and brand pages. Doing so is simple, just follow these steps and your business page will be in place in no time.
1. After logging into your Google Plus account, be certain that you are on your home page. In the right hand column you will find a link that says, “create a Google+ page”. Click that link.
2. The next page will require you to choose a category from a list. Select the “local business or place” category.
3. Next you must enter the country your business is in and the phone number.
4. Finish filling in any information that is needed, such as the address and the name of your business if necessary. Sometimes Google can retrieve this information automatically via your business phone number, in that the information will already be filled in and you will just need to verify that it is correct.
5. Below the address box you fill find a pull down menu with a list of business categories. Select the category that best describes your business.
6. Finally, choose who your business will be visible to. Decide rather or not you wish to be informed of future page releases and other information and tick the box accordingly. Agree to the page terms and then click “create”.
Google Plus is steadily gaining in popularity. It’s no wonder with its vast range of up dated social media features that are intriguing and fun to use. Furthermore, Google Plus has far less advertisements cluttering up their pages than does Facebook.
Its simple design has note worthy benefits. For starters, you are constantly connected to Google Plus via a bar that sits at the top any Gmail or Google page. One of the things that makes Google Plus so enjoyable is the ability to categorize your contacts. Although Facebook offers a similar option, but there the feature is limited, only allowing you to categorize based on school, location or work. Whereas with Google Plus, you have the option of limitless category possibilities.