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Are you using Google plus in these Creative ways Yet?

It’s been about 11 months (as at the time of writing this) since Google rolled out its social networking site and identity service, Google+ (pronounced Google Plus). The social media network was launched in June 28 2011 and opened to the public on September 20, 2011. As at April 2012 there are 170 million Google+ users. AfterschoolAfrica joined Google+ much later after the buzz and are still exploring the social media platform. I can say it’s been effectively interesting and fun.

Tip: If you are on Google+ already, feel free to add AfterSchoolAfrica to your circle if you haven’t.

As the social media platform keeps evolving, Google has integrated its several services to Google+ like YouTube, Google mail, Google profile, Android, Google Search and several other features. The internet giant has attempted to build three different social networks without success; Google Buzz, Google Friends Connect and Orkut; before launching this new fast growing social baby. And for the first time, Google, owner of the number one Search Engine in the planet, now have a social platform to compete with Facebook.

Google plus

Here are Key Features

As a user, Google+ gives you more control over your stuff. Some key features include:

Streams

Similar to the usual Facebook friends’ updates you are familiar with. As a user, you can see updates from friends in your circle on your profile page with a little more control on what appears on your stream compared to the usual Facebook cluster and constant noise. You control whose posts find its way to your stream.

Circles

This enables Google+ users to organize people into groups for sharing across personalized stuffs and various Google products and services. You control the content on your stream by deciding which circles (groups) updates you want to appear on your stream. You also specify who (which circle) sees your posts.

Hangout

This feature is used to facilitate group video chat with a maximum of 10 people participating in a single Visual Hangout at any given time. This function can be used by individuals for fun, hangouts, and networking or by business owners, corporate organizations, schools or other enterprise for meeting, teaching, learning, sharing, networking, informing, conferencing or any other such purposes.

Sparks

This is a front-end to Google search that enable users to identify topics they might be interested in keeping up to and sharing with friends. This is viral way to keep informed with trends in any industry(s) or about any subject you choose. You have a mix of keeping informed and having a good time.

Pages

This feature works similar to the Facebook page you are familiar with plus more features. You create a page for your business, product, organization, brand or enterprise.

They are more interesting features to explore on Google+ which gives more options on educating and networking.

Google+ for Education

While fun is the language many young people are addicted to when it comes to web surfing, there is also the need to develop the habit of blending learning with fun. With the Google+ Spark feature, you can keep informed on trends at you own pace. Unlike with Facebook where you miss out on updates once you are not online at the particular period, you can save trends and be updated anytime you login to your account. Sparks is used to gather news and information about variety of topics, including all the news that has been shared about the subject web-wide.

The Hangout feature presents a platform for visual learning in real-time or at you own pace. You can:

  • watch educational videos,
  • engage in career fairs,
  • connect with study abroad students,
  • connect with international university representatives for inquires,
  • share assignments,
  • communicate with fellow students,
  • connect with experts,
  • connect with admission counselors to discuss the college and admission process,
  • revise school work,
  •  meet students in your prospective school before getting to the school and
  • offering tutorial sessions
  • plus more

Google plus provides an interesting social media platform for every sphere of activity and is as useful for students, tutors and business owners.

Google Plus for Link Bookmarking

You can bookmark links, save and simply organize them with Google plus and have them anytime. If you don’t want other people to see your bookmarks and you also want to organize them, just create a new empty circle and share links with yourself. Nobody will see what you’re sharing, and you can name it the way you want. It will make a good reference point for you in future and you can share them with your friends by adding them to that circle. Just make more empty circles for every interest that you have. They will serve you like bookmark folders.

Google+ for Blogging platform

Google+ can be used for blogging purposes. This comes in handy for those that are already on Google+. It’s already optimized for Search Engines especially Google, which means more visibility. So, right from the start, you know that you’re getting indexed! It’s easy for readers to reshare on their circle (and with a chrome extension, on any social networking site including Facebook and Twitter). This eventually drives you more traffic without any doubt.

Quick Tip: You can format your post on Google+ by adding bold, italic or strike-through text anyway you want. Wrap up your text with asterisks (*) for bold, underscores (_) for italic and hyphens (-) for strike-through.

There you have creative thing you can do on Google+. What other creative stuffs do you do on this social network? Feel free to share with us.

If you are already on this interesting social network, Join AfterSchoolAfrica on Google+

If you don’t yet have a Google+ account, become a part of the community today and start exploring the dynamic features.

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