Photos: Inside Google+ - how to use Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and more

Photos: Inside Google+ - how to use Circles, Hangouts, Sparks and more

Summary: Take a tour of the Google+ private beta - Mark Zuckerberg already has...


 |  Image 6 of 18

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Thumbnail 14
  • Thumbnail 15
  • Thumbnail 16
  • Thumbnail 17
  • Thumbnail 18
  • Google+ Circles

    This is where the Google+ world starts to look a bit different to other social networking services.

    Google's social network is designed to enable users to group people they know into distinct groups - called Circles - rather than having one massive Friends list, so users can better target content they are sharing. Anything you post to Google+ requires you to specify which Circles or individuals you want to share it with. There's also the option to share content with people who are not on Google+ via email.

    Google's Circles system makes adding people to your social network a bit less formal than Facebook's emotive Friend button, by encouraging users to drag and drop people into different Circles. You can create new Circles, and also rename the default suggestions which are Friends, Family and Acquaintances.

    Google mines your email history to suggest people you might want to add to Circles. However, the data mining is pretty crude. was one of my suggestions, along with Not the best contact recommendations I have ever had.

    There are also options to find people via Yahoo and Hotmail, although not via Facebook at the moment.

    Image: Google/Natasha Lomas/

  • Google+ photos

    The second icon of the four on the Google+ nav bar is the photos icon. Here, users can browse a collage of all the photos being shared by people in their Circles, photos they have uploaded, photos tagged with their name and mobile photo uploads.

    The page layout is a cross between Flipboard's photo montage feature and Google's own Images search page.

    Image: Google/Natasha Lomas/

  • Google+ Sparks

    Here's the main Sparks page, where Google+ users can tell Google what topics float their boat. Like fast cars and baking? Just add the Sports Cars and Recipes Sparks to your Google+ account and a pipeline of related content will be fed your way.

    Image: Google/Natasha Lomas/

Topics: Apps, Software Development

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to start the discussion