10 Things You Never Knew Were Possible On Google+

google circles

Photo: Screenshot

By now, it’s obvious that Google+ is growing like crazy. It may even reach 10 million users soon.And those users are pretty dedicated to the brand new social network. In fact, some Google+ fans were dedicated enough to start a crowdsourced guide to everything you need to know on Google+.

We dug through the guide and pulled the best tips and tricks on Google+. (Plus a few of our own.)

If you have tips of your own, be sure to add them to the guide and help everyone out!

Receive Google+ notifications on your phone, even if you don't use Android.

Google+ has an excellent Android app. (The iPhone app is still awaiting approval from Apple.) If you can't get the app right now, you can still get SMS notifications on your phone.

Here's how to set it up:

Click the 'gear' icon at the top right of your screen in Google+ and select 'Google+ Settings.' Click the 'Google+' tab and click 'Add phone number' under delivery preferences. Enter your cell number here. Google will send a verification code to your phone. Enter that code in the box that appears on Google+.

Next, scroll down and check which events you want to receive notifications for. (Mentions, photo tags, etc.)

Google+ allows you to write really long posts if you want. (Just ask Robert Scoble.) If you're working on one and don't have time to finish, create an empty 'Drafts' circle and only share the post there. You can go back and edit the post when you have time and share with your other circles once it's complete.

Mute notifications on one of your posts

If you're getting a lot of activity on a post, it can be annoying to get constant notifications. To mute notifications on a single post, open Notifications, click the notification you want to mute, and click 'mute this post.'

Formatting tips: bold, italic, underline, and more

Google+ uses the same formatting commands as Google Talk does within Gmail:

_ italic text _ ➜ italic text

* bold text * ➜ bold text

- strikethrough text - ➜ strikethrough text

_*italic bold text*_ ➜ italic bold text

Tag your Google+ pals in posts

If you want to tag one of your Google+ friends in a post, just type '@' or '+' and start typing his or her name. It will create a link to that person's profile, and he or she will receive a notification that they were tagged.

Mute posts that keep returning to the top of your stream

Google+ automatically bumps posts to the top of your stream when they get a new comment or +1. Some have called this the 'Scoble Effect' since Robert Scoble's legions of Google+ followers have caused his posts to show up at the top of everyone's streams.

Google says it's working to fix this. In the meantime, the best answer is to mute the individual posts. Click the tiny arrow at the top of the post you want to mute and click 'Mute this post.'

Quickly move between posts in your stream

Use the 'J' key to scroll forward and the 'K' key to scroll back. It's a lot easier than using the mouse wheel.

Block Google from using your information to display targeted ads

When you first sign up for Google+, Google asks permission to use your profile's information to display targeted ads. You have the option to turn this off by making sure the box is unchecked.

Conduct a search within Google+ (Chrome only)

What if you remember seeing a post on Google+ but can't find it again? You can set Google to search only Google+ from your Chrome browser. These steps may be a bit complicated for the average user. Here's what the guide says to do:

Open URL: chrome://settings/searchEngines

Add new entry with the following values:

Search In Posts:

  • Column 1: Google+ Posts
  • Column 2: post
  • Column 3: {google:baseURL}search?q=site:plus.google.com inurl:posts/* %s

Search For Profiles:

  • Column 1: Google+ Profiles
  • Column 2: profile
  • Column 3: {google:baseURL}search?q=%s&tbs=prfl:e

Import your Facebook contacts to Google+

Facebook has been systematically blocking browser extensions and apps that import your contacts to Google+.

Luckily, there's a way around that if you have a Yahoo e-mail account.

Yahoo lets you import your Facebook contacts, which can then be imported to Google+. Next, use Gmail to import your Yahoo contacts. From Gmail settings, select 'Accounts and Import.' You can then log in using your Yahoo credentials and pull in your contacts from there. The contacts will automatically show up in Google+.

It's a few extra steps, but it'll have to do until Facebook and Google learn to play nice with each other.

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