Google+, pronounced "Google Plus," is a new social network project that started receiving members since June this year. At this moment it is in beta mode and invite only, but it is believed that Google will launch it's new social network to the public at the end of July. If you take a tour of the website, plus.google.com, you will see that it sort of resembles Facebook and has many features that even, in my opinion, make it better than Facebook. Even Mark Zuckerberg has a Google+ profile here: https://plus.google.com/104560124403688998123/posts#104560124403688998123/posts . Let's get started.
Step 1: Joining
Like i said in the intro, at the moment it is invite only so you need to give someone your email address and have them go onto their account and invite you by email. You will need a Gmail account of course. Check your email and click on the red rectangle in the invite. You will be redirected to Google+. Upload your photo, give your name, complete your profile, list schools you went to, occupation, the usual profile completion stuff. If you can't find anyone to invite you, you can ask me to invite you and i will be happy to do so.
Step 2: Welcome to Google+
You will be redirected to this page when done setting up your account. Here you're free to chat, start a hangout, upload pictures, post stuff, etc. Changing your name in your profile changes your name in your Google Account as well. This change will be reflected in other Google products you sign in to with your account, like Gmail and Docs. Deleting your profile won't delete your Google Account.
People who have your email address could see a link to the profile that's associated with that email address. Chat on Google+ is just like on Facebook, but before you can use Chat in Google+ , you have to enable it. To get started:
Click "Enable chat" on the side of your stream.
Select the circles that are allowed to see when you're online. (If you haven't set up your circles yet, learn more about circles in the next step, and create your own.)
The Google+ chat list will be automatically populated with people you’ve already chosen to chat with in Gmail, iGoogle, Google Talk, or Orkut. If someone isn't already a contact of yours, you can invite them to chat right from the chat search box.
After you've enabled chat, you can update the circles that are allowed to see when you're online. Simply click the drop-down arrow next to chat and then select circles.
You can disable chat by signing out. To sign out of chat, click the drop-down arrow next to chat and select sign out.
Your Chat list
The Google+ chat list will be automatically populated with people you’ve already chosen to chat with in Gmail, iGoogle, Google Talk, or Orkut. If someone isn't already a contact of yours, you can invite them to chat right from the Chat search box.
Your Chat list will only appear while you're in the stream. But, your Chat windows will appear even when you navigate away from the stream.
Add people to chat with:
Individuals: Simply type the person's email address into the chat search box and click Invite to chat. A note will appear in their Chat list letting them know that you want to chat with them. Before you can chat with someone, they must also add you to their chat list.
Circles: After you've enabled chat you can select the circles that are allowed to chat with you by clicking on the arrow next to Chat and selecting Circles from the drop down menu.
When someone adds you to their circle, you'll be able to see them in your chat list.
Step 3: Invite Friends
To invite friends go to the top of the page near the "find people" search bar and click on the interlocked circles icon. Info on how to import Facebook friends are in the next step. Click on Yahoo and Hotmail to import your contacts from your email accounts. Click on a persons name and it will tell you if they are using Google+ or not. If they have, click and drag their name to one of your circles. If they are not using Google+, it will say "(Blank) is not yet using Google+. Add them to a circle to invite them or share with them via email." Drag their name to a circle and it will ask if you want to invite them. Enter any other email addresses of people you want to invite if you want. Press invite and click done.
Step 4: Friend Profiles
It looks like you can't post anything to another persons profile yet. I hope you can when it's released to the public. You can comment on their posts though.
Step 5: "Circles" Feature
You no longer have to regret adding your mom or watch what you say to someone else because of family or employers in your friends list. You can put them in groups called "circles" and chose which circles or people you would like to share certain things with. You can even create as many circles as you want. You choose what to name them. It can be anything. Ex: "strangers" and "monkeys" could be two circle names you could group people in.
Step 6: "Hangouts" Feature
"Hangouts" is one of the best features on Google+. They are basically unplanned video chats or meetings. Start a hangout and anyone in your circles can video chat with you. You can have up to 10 people join a hangout. Anyone in the hangout can invite someone else, but you can't kick someone out of a hangout. You can chat with everyone in the hangout and if you need to sneeze, but don't want everyone to see your funny face, you can turn off your webcam for a second, or move out of the way of the camera. There's also a 90 minute check-in to make sure you're still there.
Step 7: "Sparks" Feature
"Sparks" is a feature that allows you to search for interesting subjects you're interested in from all over the web. 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 that interest. To add interests in Sparks to follow the latest stories that matter to you most, search for something. After you search in Sparks, click "Add interest." You can quickly access your interests by clicking the interest name beneath the Sparks link. Don't worry, the interests you add in Sparks are kept private. Not interested in something anymore? No worries. It's easy to remove an interest in Sparks. Beneath the Sparks link, move your mouse over the interest you want to remove and click the "X."
Step 8: +1
Use the +1 button to publicly show what you like, agree with, or recommend on the web. The +1 button can appear in a variety of places, both on Google and on sites across the web. For example, you might see a +1 button for a Google search result, Google ad, or next to an article you're reading on your favorite news site. Your +1’s and your social connections also help improve the content you see in Google Search. When you +1 something, the +1 button will turn blue and the +1 will be added to the +1's tab of your profile. Here you can manage all your +1’s and decide whether you want to publicly display the +1’s tab.
Step 9: Stream
The stream is the place to have meaningful conversations with the people you care about. It centralizes all the content people have shared with you, as well as the people who are trying to share with you, but who aren't yet in your circles. You might see text posts, pictures, videos, links, or location markers. When you share with people either individually or through a circle, your content will appear in their stream.
Step 10: Huddle
Texting is great, but not when you’re trying to get six different people to decide on a movie. Huddle takes care of it by turning all those different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page long before thumbs get sore.
Step 11: Mobile
Share updates and see what's going on around you with Google+ Mobile.
Share your thoughts and location.
Instantly upload your photos and videos as you take them.
Get updates from your circles in the stream.
Check in to a place.
Make plans on-the-go with group messaging.
View posts from people around you.
Download the Google+ app for your phone here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.google.android.apps.plus
Step 12: Photos
There are several ways to upload and share photos in Google+:
Create a new post from the stream or the Google+ bar.
Upload photos from your Google+ Photos homepage or from the Photos tab on your Google profile.
Share directly from your mobile device.
Share from the stream or the Google+ bar
Sign in to Google+
Click the camera icon from the share box.
You can choose to:
Add Photos directly from your computer.
Create an album - Drag and drop or Select photos from your computer. Hover your cursor over a photo to view rotation options, or to add name tags and captions. Click Create album. Share your album to the Stream by clicking Share. Select Photos from your phone, choose photos to upload and click Add photos to post.
Share from your Google+ Photos homepage or your Google profile
Sign in to your Google profile .
Click the Photos icon at the top of the page or go to the Photos section of your profile.
Click Upload new photos to open the upload window.
You can create a new album or add photos to an existing album.
Drag and drop photos, or Select photos from your computer.
Hover your cursor over the photo to view rotation options, add name tags, or add a caption, then click Create album.
To share your photos to the stream, add text, circles or people to share with, then click Share.
Alternatively, after clicking Upload new photos, you can select photos From your phone, choose photos to upload, and select Create album. Learn more about Instant Upload.
In Google+, you can upload as many photos as you’d like. Learn more about unlimited photo and video uploads.
Taking and sharing photos is fun. Getting photos off your phone and on to the web is pretty much the opposite of fun. Thanks to "Instant Upload," your photos upload themselves. You don’t even have to say "cheese."