Google+: The Rundown

Today on Digital Lust, I am continuing my weeklong coverage of Google+, the new social media experience from Google. Yesterday, I gave a quick overview of the service, and now that I have my hands on it, let’s get more in depth with how it works.

The Circles of Friendship
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One of the most unique features of Google+ is what you share with who. All of your friends can be grouped into different Circles. Grouping people in different circles helps you to share certain things with certain circles–so if you’re like me, who will likely use Google+ for both personal and blogging purposes, you can keep things from circles that may not be relevant to them. If you want to post pictures of yourself that you don’t want some others to see, you can do it. If you have a news story that you want to share with some people that may not make sense to others, you can do that too. It all revolves around who you put into your circles.

The Stream
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Your stream essentially serves the same purpose as your Facebook Wall, with a few extra features. The most prominent, of course, is the ability to view the stream based on circles. For example, if you want to view the stream for just the people you have in your Friends circle, you just select that stream on the left navigation bar. If you want to view all of your streams at once, you can do that too. It’s a pretty cool filtering system that Facebook doesn’t have, and is definitely a good way to filter out the crap. In the above image, I chose to just view posts that are in my Stream for people that I have invited as part of the Google+ Giveaway. It shows posts that I have made to people exclusively in the stream, as well as posts that would be made by people in the stream (nobody that won last night has accepted an invite just yet, which is why this is so empty). The concept behind this is pretty awesome.

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Websites like Mashable have already established a presence on Google+.

Photo Sharing

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One of my favorite features on Google+ is the way in which photos are shared. You can share them with everyone, or you can share them with specific circles. This works, especially for those who have pictures that they do not want to fall into the wrong hands. There is also an Instant Upload feature on the Android App (which I’ll be giving more details about tomorrow). Photos upload insanely quick on the service. You can tag friends in pictures, too, which is a welcomed feature that has become so prominent on Facebook.

Google+ may, at first glance, seem very similar to Facebook. In reality, it really is. Google really has given it more features to make the social experience more seamless and pleasant, and hopefully, it will catch on and become the next social success story.

Tomorrow, I will talk about the Android app in App Attack, as well as go in-depth with Huddle, the new chat service.

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