What is Google+, G+, Google Plus – Definition

Google+ is pronounced google plus and sometimes written Google Plus or abbreviated as G+. Google+ is a social networking service operated by Google Inc. The service launched on June 28, 2011 and as of July 2011 Google+ was in an invite-only “field testing” phase. Google+ follows and replaces the company’s earlier social networking endeavors, including the short-lived Google Wave, which Google discontinued in early 2010.  As of February 1st 2013 Google is pushing hard and fast to have people sign up and join Google + .

CLICK HERE to Invite People to Join Google+, Google Plus, G+

Google+ is another attempt by Google at social networking. Google+ delivers functionality and many features similar to those of Facebook. Sources such as The New York Times have declared it Google’s biggest attempt to rival the social network Facebook, which had over 750 million users in 2011. On July 14, 2011, Google announced that Google+ had reached 10 million users just two weeks after it was launched in a “limited” trial phase. After less than a day of being live, the Google+ iPhone app has the number one free spot in the Apple app store. After 3 weeks in operation, it has already reached 20 million users.

Google Plus Features

Google+ integrates social services such as Google Profiles and Google Buzz, and introduces new services Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, and Huddles. Google+ will also be available as a desktop application and as a mobile application, but only on Android and iOS operating systems.

“Circles” enables users to organize contacts into groups for sharing, across various Google products and services. Although other users can view a list of people in a user’s collection of circles, they cannot view the names of those circles. The privacy settings also allow users to hide the users in their circles as well as who have them in their circle. Organization is done through a drag-and-drop interface. This system replaces the typical friends list function used by sites such as Facebook. “Hangouts” are places used to facilitate group video chat (with a maximum of 10 people participating in a single Hangout at any point in time). However, anyone on the web could potentially join the “Hangout” if they happen to possess the unique URL of the Hangout. “Huddle” is a feature available to Android, iPhone, and SMS devices for communicating through instant messaging within circles. “Instant Upload” is specific to Android mobile devices; it stores photos or video in a private album for sharing later. “Sparks” is a front-end to Google Search, enabling users to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others; “featured interests” sparks are also available, based on topics others globally are finding interesting. Sparks helps to keep users posted on the latest updates on the topics of their interest. In the “Stream,” users see updates from those in their circles. The input box allows users to enter a status update or use icons to upload and share photo and videos. The Stream can be filtered to show only posts from specific Circles. Google+ has a “+1″ button to allow people to recommend items. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, there is not yet an application programming interface that enables software developers to interact with Google+ programmatically. Additionally, Google+ presents the different icons in a graphical or pictorial manner instead of the more commonplace text written icon names. Similar to other Google applications, Google+ provides integration with other Google applications like Gmail, Calendar, Documents, etc. A “Data Liberation” option provides the ability to download one’s content from Google+.

Importing contacts from other social networks

Google+ includes a feature to invite contacts from Yahoo! and Hotmail. At this time, however, there is no official way to import Facebook contacts into Google+; but there are some workarounds to achieve it. Facebook allows users to download their data, but not in a simple format easy to import; network effects make it difficult for a new social network such as Google+ to be successful, and an easy tool to migrate to a rival service would reduce the effect.

Picasa Web Albums

After tagging someone, they receive a notification and can see the photo and the related album. For new albums, anyone an album is shared with can see who else it is shared with. Albums someone shared can be tagged and re-shared by others. Photos up to 2048×2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won’t count towards the 1 GB storage quota for Google+ users (it’s 800×800 pixels for non-Google+ users), creating “virtually unlimited” storage for mobile users.

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