So I keep putting the argument forward to people that Google+ is going to do what Facebook did to Myspace. They just look at me blankly and ask, “Why?” I tell them about how many members Google+ has already accumulated with minimal effort and briefly explain the innovative features but still get faced with that same blank look. I have therefore decided to mention each of the features and explain them in more detail so both current and future users can get to grips with Google+
Google+ Features Explained
Coined by Google as, “share what matters, with the people that matter most“. In Google+ you have the ability to create as many circles as you desire depending on how specified you want to group your contacts. The circles could range from family to work to football friends allowing you to then drag the appropriate contacts to each circle. With these circles in place you can share the relevant content to each one without having to worry about bothering other contacts who have no interest in that content. So you may want to share baby photos with your family circle while your football friends may not appreciate it so much; or you might not want to have to scan through your general feed and instead only look at content being shared from your friend circle.
The feature is an excellent way of keeping your contacts organised and profile feed spam free. It’s time to stick those annoying contacts who post every 3 minutes about what they are eating into the “Ignore Circle”.
Created as a feature to strike up conversations with both new and old contacts, sparks generates a feed of relevant content from across the internet depending on what interests you. So I in my case I have a personal interest in an extreme sport called “parkour”, if I search for this in the sparks feature I am then provided with a feed of quality content all related to parkour. I can pin this as an interest making it easy to check out the latest content whenever I feel like it or even share posts to all my contacts or specific circles allowing discussions to form centred around that content.
You can forget those awkward silences or lack of posts on your wall, it’s time to share and discuss what interests you with other like minded people!
When explaining hangouts I try to get people to imagine the Video Chat feature of Skype but with all your friends in the same conversation at once. It might sound like chaos but can be very useful and always a lot of fun. The loudest speaker at any given time takes the limelight in the largest, middle video screen allowing attention to be given to that person. This is ideal for business webinars / conferences as it allows the speaker to get his point across in a more efficient way rather than just having to rely on his voice.
So there is no need to have 10 different instant messaging boxes open just to arrange a meeting or gathering anymore, get everyone into a hangout and make organisation easier.
I have just though that it is probably best that I create a separate post for the Google+ mobile features, so stay tuned! And if you have your own questions about the features or want to simply share your thoughts about them or Google+ then please feel free to join our active community.
On a quick side note, Google has limited the number of invitations available to 150 per user, so request yours here while they are hot!