0 28 Jul, 2011
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10 Tips of Google+ for new users

Google+ is a social networking service operated by Google Inc. . The service launched on June 28, 2011 in an invite-only “field testing ” phase. The following day, existing users were allowed to invite friends, who are above 18 years of age. This was suspended the next day due to an “insane demand” for accounts.

Google+ integrates social services such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz , and introduces new services Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, and Huddles, which may be a little hard for your initial experiences.

That’s why you may consider yourself a noob when it comes to Google’s social platform. But, here, fortunately, we’ve got some handy hints to help you out. From quicker sharing options to better content curation via savvy privacy settings, we’re bringing you 10 tips and tricks that will soon have you Google Plussing like a pro.

Please share in the comments any Google+ tips we haven’t mentioned — your suggestion could be featured in a forthcoming NETGAINS BLOG article.

1. Add More Information to Your Profile Description

 

To most Google+ ‘strangers’, you’re just a thumbnail. If they do care to hover over your avatar, then you’re a thumbnail with a few words of description, likely your company name, profession or location.

There’s a simple “hack” that can make Google+ display much more info when someone hovers over your avatar — similar to the appearance of Twitter.

Go to edit your profile, select the employment section, and in the first “Employer name” box, write your bio and check the “current” box.

2. Organize Content With Circles

Circles are a useful tool for organization of content. Thanks to the fact you can create empty circles, there’s a variety of organizational options open to you.

As Google+ currently has no way of bookmarking content, Plussers have devised workarounds.

You can create empty circles to “share” under different headings. Make “bookmarks” for links you want to check out when you have more time, “read later” for longer posts and articles, and even “test” if, you want to muck around on the service without annoying your followers.

Once you’ve set this up and shared content to your various empty circles, viewing that circle’s stream will bring up all the Plus bits you wanted to save.

3. Click on Profile Pictures to Roughly Browse

One really neat trick Google has built into Plus is the ability to scroll through all of a user’s uploaded profile pictures directly from the profile or posts page.

You can do this by clicking on the person’s avatar image at the top left of the screen. If they have added more than one pic, Plus will flip through the album there and then.

While on one hand this is a handy way to see profile pics at-a-glance, some Plussers have gotten creative with the concept.

4. Disable Sharing on Posts

One of our favorite things about Google+ is limited, rather than public, sharing. You can share a post with one person — or the entire world.

However, there’s nothing to say that one person won’t click “share” to expose your previously private post to the entire world.

Thankfully, Google+ offers the ability to disable sharing on posts. If you’ve posted something you’d like to stay private, click on the drop down menu arrow at the top right of the post and select “disable re-share.”

Do be aware this doesn’t mean people can’t screengrab your post, etc, but it will at least communicate that you’d like the post to stay private.

5. To Find Post’s Permalinks

If you want to find a post’s permalink, it’s simple. If the post was shared publicly, you can hit the drop down menu arrow at the top right and select “link to this post.” This will open the post in a separate tab, allowing you to copy and past its URL.

If the post has limited sharing options, this setting won’t appear in the drop down menu. Instead, click on the time or date stamp toward the top of the post. This will also open the post in a new window and reveal the URL, although not everyone will be able to view it.

6. Drag and Drop Content

If you expand the “share” box, you can drag and drop content into it. This works for video, photos, links and even other Plus profiles.

7. Change the Visibility of Your Circles

Google+ displays all people in your circles at random on your profile. However, you can change the default options to show only certain circles and hide others.

In Google’s own words, this is so you can “hide that weird aunt you’re embarrassed about, and show off the coolest people you know.”

To change your circle settings, click “Edit profile” and then hit the circles boxes on the left of your screen. You can now choose which circles you want the world to see, and even decide whether to display people who have added you to circles.

8. Notify People About the Posts

Rather than risk burying an important post in the stream, Google+ offers a way to notify people in a circle about the post, without having to add their Google+ username.

To set it up, click on the circle you’re sharing and check the “notify about this post” box.

9. Add Special Photo Effects

Click on one of your photos to bring up the dark background view, then hit the “Actions” menu at the bottom right. In addition to useful options such as “Auto Contrast” and “Auto Color,” you can also Cross Process, Orton-ize, or turn your image black and white.

As far as we can tell, the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option will randomly apply an effect.

10. Google+ URLs

Did you know you can find Google+ at various URLs? There’s:

http://google.com/+

http://plus.google.com, and

http://google.com/plus.

 

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