The Basic Guidelines of How to Use Google+

Jul 30, 2011
Google+ Features If you already joined in Google+, there still may be awkwardness when trying to use this Google's new social networking. And the question is, "How do you get started with Google+?"

From Friendster, Friendfeed, MySpace and Facebook, users are familiar with how a social platform is theoretically supposed to look. At its core level, Plus is not that much different. Yet, there is so much more. So let me share you some tips of the basic guidelines how to use Google+.

These tips is based on my first short experience using Google+. If you have any questions or want to make corrections of it, please leave your comments in comments form below.

Let's break down the nuts and bolts.

1. Create Circles

The essence of Circles is to see updates from only certain groups like "Work," "Friends" or "Family" and hide for the others.

From the initial interface, you will see four buttons - "Home", "Photos", "Profile" and "Circles". Click on the "Circles" button.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Click Circles

Then you'll jump to an interface where all of your contacts are listed in a panel on top of the screen. You can drag and drop from the top of the list to the appropriate group. These contacts can be added to multiple circles.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Circles

If you have not adding them in your Google+, you can simply clicking on "Add a new person" box and start typing their name or e-mail.

2. Write/Update Status

To write or update your status in Google+ you need to go back to your "Home" page. It's called, "Stream". Or you can just click on the "Share..." button in the upper right corner of navbar.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Stream, Update Status

Click on "Share what's new..." box under "Stream" and start typing your status. Similar with Facebook, here you can adding photo, video, link and location. Next choose which Circles you want to share with them. And if in your Circles there are people not yet using Google+ you can allow them read your status from email they'll received by checking in the radio button.

Want to styling your status with bold, italic or strikethrough? Check this post or this one.

3. Edit and Delete Status

Well, I also won't explain about it again in this post, because I've posted in my previous tutorial. Please go to this post to see more: How to Edit and Delete Google+ Status?.

4. Incoming and Notifications

There are two other options below your circles list in "Home" page left sidebar - "Incoming" and "Notifications". Clicking incoming will bring you to messages that have been sent by people outside of your circles. Notifications will show you when people in your circles have commented on something you have posted, or something you have commented on.

Here how Incoming message will show compared with Notifications.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Notifications and Incoming

5. Setting Notifications

By default Google+ will sent you notifications to your e-mail each time your friends 'touching' you in Google+. You can set it up through "Google+ Settings" are located in the upper right corner of navbar (wheel icon).

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Setting Notifications

6. Tagging/Labelling/Mentioning

Add "+" or "@" symbol in front of a name with sent notification to the name.
example: +GP Info or @GP Info

7. Send Private Message (PM)

Check to this post: How To Send Private Message in Google+?

8. Upload Photos

Photos in Plus are relatively self-explanatory. Users can update photos from their computers or from their phones, see photos that people in their circles have uploaded. With the Android app, there is a way to upload any photo that you take with your phone straight to Plus, an interesting if slightly disconcerting feature.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Upload Photos

When you add a photo, it will prompt you to create an album. Once that album is created it will ask which of your circles you would like to share it with. This is a prime differentiator from Facebook where all of your photos are visible to all of your friends by default (you can change who can view certain photos in Facebook preferences). You can also pick an individual to share photos with instead of an entire circle.

Photo uploading is easy within Plus. Just like adding a picture or an attachment to a Gmail document, you can drag-and-drop from your desktop or click the on the upload button and browse your computer for pictures.

Users can also add photos by posting them in status updates or by uploading them through the Profile tab.

9. Profiles

If you use any Google products and have a Google account, you have a Google Profile. Where the address is

But, since Google launched Google+, everyone who activate Google+ will automatically redirect to their Google+ whenever they try to access Google Profiles page. Yes, Google+ is officially became Google's users profile page.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Profiles

10. Sparks

Sparks is the part of Plus where you can find content on the Web that you are interested in. In the "Field Trial" version of Plus, it looks like Sparks is a randomized version of content and news generated through Google News. Sparks can be a dashboard for things you are interested in on the Web. When you do a search in Sparks, it will predict what you are searching for with a drop down menu (like old Google search, not quite like Google Instant). You can pin particular topics you search for to the Sparks dashboard for quick access.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Sparks

You can share articles found in Sparks with a share button on the bottom of every article that surfaces in a search. Like everything else in Plus, it can be shared with a specific person, circle, group of circles or the general public.

11. Hangouts

Hangouts is a new feature rolled out with Plus. Essentially it is an area where your circles or a select group of friends can video chat all on one screen. To start a Hangout, go to the "Welcome" button in the Home page under your name. Or click on "Start a hangout" green button in the right sidebar.

The Basic Guidelines How to Use Google+: Hangouts

Don't forget if you want to get started with Google+ Hangouts, you need first install the Google Voice and Video Plugin from the new window opened.
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