Using Google Plus
On September 22, 2011, The Google Plus social network opened to the public after being an invitation-only space in the previous months.
Google Plus is the answer to Facebook's social network as they aim to make a dent in the social media world.
The network gained 50 million new users in 3 months, so it's definitely something to pay attention to. Not to mention, this is Google - the most popular search engine and the largest source of traffic for many websites.
Making Use of Circles
Circles allow you to categorize your G+ connections. That way you can share certain information with certain people.
Say you want to post something that only your family can see. You can select your "Family" circle, and only the people you've tagged as "Family" will be able to read that post. If you want everyone to see your posts, you can label it as "Public."
It's also very easy to sort through your connection's updates using your circles. So if you only want to read updates from your family, you can click that stream.
If you want to mention someone in a post, you can tag them by typing the + sign followed by their name. The G+ smart search will attempt to populate their name as you type. This will notify them via e-mail that they've been mentioned in your stream.
Tagging people is a great way to give someone a shout, network or strike up a conversation in your stream.
The Plus One Button
Before Google announced their social network, they introduced the Plus One button. You've probably seen it alongside the Google.com search engine results. This is a way to "vote" for content that you like. It's very similar to Facebook's "Like" button.
If you are a member of the G+ social network, you'll get the opportunity to make a comment about the content you have just "plus oned." That comment, along with the site, will appear in your G+ stream.
In January 2012, Google launched Search Plus Your World which now includes Google Plus data in the search results. Some say Google is not playing fair as they favor their own content. In fact, this product even caught the attention of the FTC.
Google Plus is still very new compared to the other mature networks, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
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