Google has finally unveiled Google+, the company’s top secret social layer that turns all of the search engine into one giant social network.

Google+, which begins rolling out a very limited field test on Tuesday, is the culmination of a year-long project led by Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of social. The project, which has been delayed several times, constitutes Google’s answer to Facebook.

The search giant’s new social project will be omnipresent on its products, thanks to a complete redesign of the navigation bar. The familiar gray strip at the top of every Google page will turn black, and come with several new options for accessing your Google+ profile, viewing notifications and instantly sharing content. The notification system is similar to how Facebook handles notifications, complete with a red number that increases with each additional notice.

But Google+ really seems to be primed to make good on that original premise–that everything gets better when its social. And unlike FB, Twitter, or anyone else, Google already has the most advanced set of products. And if I can clearly see where this is headed, then I think what we are getting is a much better Google. Does that kill FB/Twitter? Who cares? I’d use all 3, but more importantly, I’ll be using Google products I never used, or use them in new, better ways I never used them before.

 

Google Plus Features

 

google circles

Circles

Google+ Circles helps you organize everyone according to your real-life social connections–say, ‘family,’ ‘work friends,’ ‘music buddies,’ and ‘alumni’. Then, you can share relevant content with the right people, and follow content posted by people you find interesting. For example, you might post an announcement about your engagement and show it only to people in your friends and family circles, or maybe you see a post from the circle you created for your book club that there’s a recent article on your favorite author.

You can also decide to customize your personal profile information for your circles. For example, your contact details, location, and relationship information would be visible to your friends circle, while your employment history and education would be visible to your alumni association circle.

Google Circle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

google Sparks

Sparks

 

Sparks brings you stories on the things you love from all across the Web, so it’s easy to strike up meaningful conversations with your friends.

When you first arrive in Sparks, you’ll see a collection of featured interests. If nothing strikes your fancy, search for a different interest.

Let’s say you’re learning to juggle. You can search for ‘juggling,’ then add it as an interest so you can always be kept up to date on the world of object manipulation. And if you get tired of people calling you a clown all the time, you can remove this interest.

 

 

 

google Hangouts

Hangouts

 

Hangouts are the best way for you to say, “I’m online and want to hangout!” Hangouts lets you:

  • Chill with friends that are scrolling through the web, just like you!
  • Use live video chat that puts you in the same room together!
  • Coordinate plans, whether it’s working on a project or meeting up for coffee.
  • Maybe you’re bored. Start a hangout, invite your circles, see who’s around!

google Hangouts

 

You can start a hangout from the stream whenever you want. You can either go to plus.google.com/hangouts or simply click the blue Start a Hangout button on the side of your stream.

You’ll be taken to a “green room” where we’ll help you get your camera set up and choose additional circles or individuals to add. No one can see you while you’re in the green room. Once you click the green Hang Out button your video feed will be broadcast.


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