first_imgGoogle announced a new social networking layer that may compete with Facebook but, at the same time, is utterly different. The Google+ project will do some of the same general things as Facebook, such as sending messages to friends, sharing links, chatting, and sharing pictures, but the big difference is that with Google+, you can choose who you want to share these things with. Unlike with Facebook where posting a link will show up on your profile for all of your 500 “friends” to see, Google+ lets you do things a little differently. Here’s how it works:CirclesThe concept of Circles is a major part of Google+. This is where you choose who you want in your contacts. You can have a family Circle, a BFF Circle, a co-workers Circle, and even an “Epic bros” Circle, as Google shows in the demo video below. One of the hardest things about Facebook becoming so popular is that everyone is on it and everyone is friends with you.AdChoices广告Most of us are friends with a lot of family members and colleagues on Facebook, and we enjoy seeing what they’re up to. However, we don’t always want to share everything with them. Google allows you to choose which people you want in what Circle. You then use those Circles for all of your Google+ activity, which we’ll get into more in depth below.SparksSparks is a feature that lets you select certain areas, hobbies, or interests that you particularly like. They’re the things you always ramble on and on about when someone brings it up at a party, like that new album by your favorite musician, or a new comic book. Google wants to keep people searching for content on its site, so Sparks helps by delivering a “field of highly contagious content from across the Internet” on any topic.You can then share it with a particular group of friends who will appreciate the news of a new restaurant opening in your neighborhood, unlike the rest of your 495 friends who live in different neighborhoods and would otherwise be seeing it in your Facebook status.HangoutsHangouts is one of the features I’m not quite sure will catch on, but it’s a cool concept nonetheless. Hangouts aims to bring a group of friends together sporadically by combining casual meetups with live multi-person video. I’m not sure how useful it will be when everyone’s just “hanging out” in different parts of the world, at different time, but the aim is to for people to just stop in when they have the time.MobileIn Q1 of this year, 36 percent of phones being sold were Android devices, so mobile is an important area to Google+, and its mobile features are pretty impressive. First, Google+ allows you to add your location to every post so you can share where you are with your Circles. You also have the option of not sharing, so it’s not a huge privacy issue.The second feature is Instant Upload, which lets you take a photo and instantly upload it to a private album in the cloud. For those of us notorious for snapping photos throughout the day on our phones and then forgetting to upload them by the end of the day, this feature will come in handy. When you get back to your computer, you can simply flip through the photos you uploaded earlier and share them with your Circles.HuddleMaybe one of the best features of Google+ is Huddle, which lets you coordinate with friends and family in real-time. It’s especially useful on your phone when you’re trying to plan something out with a group of people. For example, when you’re trying to pick a place to meet, you don’t have to do the whole “I’ll call Jess and Jim and see if that’s okay and call you back” thing. You can just have a flowing conversation with the people you select in your Circle through text messages.How to get Google+?Google says Google+ is available today on the Android Market, but you actually have to wait for an invite since it’s still in active development. If want to make sure you are on the list, you can sign up here.We’re waiting to get ours, and when we do, we’ll let you know how these features work hands-on. We’ll also let you know when Google+ is out of development and ready to go. Google says “it’s coming soon to the App Store.”What do you think of Google+? Does it look like something you will use, or will you just stick to Facebook and Twitter to relay your updates to all your friends and followers?Read more at Google+ and the Google Bloglast_img

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