How to Use Google Plus as a Beginner

 New to Google Plus? Here's how to use some of Google+'s best features

Due to a lack of interest, and security concerns, Google+ is shutting down in April 2019.

01
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How to Stream (Wall Post) in Google Plus

How to Stream (Wall Post) in Google Plus
How to Stream (Wall Post) in Google Plus.

Paul Gil, Lifewire

Google Plus uses a "Stream" instead of a Facebook "Wall". The idea is essentially the same, but Google Plus Streaming is much more selective in its broadcasting. Specifically: Google+ Streaming lets you choose whom you follow, who is allowed to see your posts, and most of all: Google+ Streaming allows you to edit your Stream posts AFTER the fact.
Instead of a click-type-share technique like Facebook, Google Plus Streaming requires a few extra steps.

How to Post to Your Google Stream (Wall):

  1. Type in your text.
  2. Copy-paste any hyperlinks you want to promote.
  3. Optional: add a + sign to hyperlink directly to another Google+ user (e.g. +Paul Gil)
  4. Optional: add in *bold* or _italic_ formatting.
  5. Choose which specific individuals or circles can see your post.
  6. Click Share button to post.
  7. Optional: choose to prevent resharing of your post by using the dropdown menu at the top right of your new post.
02
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How to Send a Private Message in Google Plus

How to Send Private Messages in Google+
How to Send Private Messages in Google+.

Paul Gil, Lifewire

Google Plus private messaging is different from Facebook's method. Unlike the conventional inbox/sentbox email format of Facebook, Google Plus has a different approach to private messaging.

Google Plus messaging is based on your 'Stream', which is both a public broadcast tool AND your private inbox/sentbox. By toggling your privacy settings and target reader(s), you control whether your Stream post is a shout or a whisper.

In Google Plus, you send a private message by making a Stream post, but adding the extra step of specifying the target person's name. There is no separate screen or separate container for private messaging... your confidential conversations are displayed on your Stream screen, but only you and the target person see the message.

How to Send a Private Message in Google Plus

  1. Type a new Stream message in your Stream screen.
  2. Type or click the target person's name into the sharer list.
  3. Delete any circles or individuals whom you don't want included.
  4. Choose Disable Share from the drop-down menu at the right of the message.
  5. Result: the target person receives your message on their Stream screen, but no one else can see your message. Additionally, the target person cannot forward (reshare) your message.

Yes, this Google Plus private messaging is strange and counter-intuitive. But try it for a couple of days. Once you get used to the extra step of specifying the target person's share name in your postings, you're going to like the power of having private group conversations.

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How to Share Photos in Google Plus

How to Share Photos in Google Plus
How to Share Photos in Google Plus.

Paul Gil, Lifewire

Google owns Google Photos, a photo sharing service, so it makes sense that Google Plus links directly to your Google Photos account. As long as you have a valid Gmail.com address, you automatically get a free Google Photo account. From there, you can easily post and share photos through Google Plus by using your Photos.
How to Display a New Photo from Your Smartphone or Your Hard Drive

  1. Switch to your Google Plus Stream.
  2. Click the Add Photos icon (which looks like a tiny camera)
  3. Choose Add Photos to grab a single photo from your computer hard drive.
  4. Choose Create an Album to grab multiple photos from your computer hard drive.
  5. Choose From Your Phone to grab photos from your Android smartphone.

This upload feature only works from desktop computers and Android phones. If you have an iPhone, BlackBerry, or another cell phone, you will need to wait a few months for the upload feature.

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How to Format Text in Google Plus

How to Bold and Italicize in Google Plus
How to Bold and Italicize in Google Plus.

Paul Gil, Lifewire

It is quite simple to add simple bold and italic formats in Google Plus. When you add a post to your Stream, simply add asterisks or underscores around any text you wish to format.

  • *Attention:* will create Attention: in boldface
  • _Remember_ will create Remember in italics