Here’s Our Top To Bottom Tour Of Google’s Answer To Facebook

google plus

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The result is Google+ is the social network that launched yesterday.It’s a lot of the same stuff we’re already used to with Facebook, but given a Google-fied design twist. In fact, Google+ looks and functions a lot like Facebook, almost embarrassingly so.

Want to see Google+ for yourself? CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT >

We’ve been warned that Google+ is only the first step in Google’s social strategy, but at first blush, it’s hard to imagine how it can win over Facebook users.

There’s almost nothing original with Google+: Groups, video chat, news feed, link-sharing, and group texting. And while it looks pretty, we don’t think it’s a big enough change for anyone to abandon Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. (Unless they really hate those networks.)

We’ve been using Google+ for a day now. Until you get an invite, click below to see what it’s like for yourself.

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[slide
permalink=”after-you-receive-your-invite-head-to-plusgooglecom-once-you-log-in-with-your-google-account-youll-see-this-gray-box-fill-out-the-information-and-select-join-note-google-gives-you-the-option-to-get-personalized-ads-based-on-your-google-profile-uncheck-the-box-if-you-dont-want-that-1″
title=”After you receive your invite, head to plus.google.com. Once you log in with your Google account, you’ll see this grey box. Fill out the information and select “Join.” Note: Google gives you the option to get personalised ads based on your Google+ profile. Uncheck the box if you don’t want that.”
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[slide
permalink=”link-to-picasa-so-you-can-store-your-photos-online-2″
title=”Link to Picasa so you can store your photos online”
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[slide
permalink=”now-fill-out-your-profile-information-its-basically-the-same-stuff-as-facebook-name-occupation-relationship-status-interests-etc-3″
title=”Now fill out your profile information. It’s basically the same stuff as Facebook: Name, occupation, relationship status, interests, etc.”
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[slide
permalink=”after-your-profile-is-set-youre-taken-to-the-welcome-screen-now-lets-explore-4″
title=”After your profile is set, you’re taken to the welcome screen. Now let’s explore…”
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[slide
permalink=”heres-the-stream-googles-version-of-the-news-feed-here-you-can-see-all-the-stuff-your-friends-post-5″
title=”Here’s the “Stream,” Google’s version of the News Feed. Here you can see all the stuff your friends post.”
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[slide
permalink=”heres-what-the-personal-profile-looks-like-its-almost-exactly-like-facebooks-layout-6″
title=”Here’s what the personal profile looks like. It’s almost exactly like Facebook’s layout.”
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[slide
permalink=”theres-also-a-section-for-websites-you-1-7″
title=”There’s also a section for websites you “+1″”
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[slide
permalink=”for-some-reason-theres-a-google-buzz-tab-too-why-would-you-need-google-buzz-if-you-already-post-your-status-updates-to-google-seems-redundant-8″
title=”For some reason, there’s a Google Buzz tab, too. Why would you need Google Buzz if you already post your status updates to Google+? Seems redundant.”
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[slide
permalink=”you-can-go-back-and-edit-your-profile-at-any-time-9″
title=”You can go back and edit your profile at any time.”
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[slide
permalink=”you-have-to-add-personal-links-to-your-profile-in-a-separate-box-on-the-right-10″
title=”You have to add personal links to your profile in a separate box on the right”
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[slide
permalink=”this-is-the-sparks-feature-its-a-lot-like-google-news-letting-you-find-articles-photos-or-videos-by-topic-11″
title=”This is the Sparks feature. It’s a lot like Google News, letting you find articles, photos, or videos by topic.”
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[slide
permalink=”heres-an-example-of-the-sparks-page-for-android-news-the-stories-automatically-populate-in-your-stream-12″
title=”Here’s an example of the Sparks page for Android news. The stories automatically populate in your stream.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e0b2cec49e2ae07771c0000″
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[slide
permalink=”you-can-also-search-for-topics-on-your-own-clicking-add-interest-places-the-topic-in-the-left-column-under-sparks-so-you-can-click-back-any-time-to-get-the-latest-news-13″
title=”You can also search for topics on your own. Clicking “Add Interest” places the topic in the left column under “Sparks” so you can click back any time to get the latest news.”
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[slide
permalink=”this-is-circles-googles-version-of-facebook-groups-youll-see-your-google-contacts-pop-up-here-drag-the-people-you-want-to-group-into-a-circle-below-you-can-also-create-a-new-circle-if-you-want-14″
title=”This is Circles, Google’s version of Facebook Groups. You’ll see your Google contacts pop up here. Drag the people you want to group into a circle below. You can also create a new circle if you want.”
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[slide
permalink=”we-decided-to-make-a-new-circle-for-our-college-friends-15″
title=”We decided to make a new Circle for our college friends.”
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[slide
permalink=”now-well-start-dragging-our-college-friends-into-the-new-circle-16″
title=”Now we’ll start dragging our college friends into the new Circle.”
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[slide
permalink=”when-youre-done-you-can-click-the-circle-to-view-all-members-in-a-grid-like-this-clicking-view-stream-for-this-circle-takes-you-to-a-separate-feed-of-updates-for-the-group-most-of-our-friends-arent-on-google-yet-so-theres-no-activity-there-17″
title=”When you’re done, you can click the Circle to view all members in a grid like this. Clicking “View Stream for this circle” takes you to a separate feed of updates for the group. (Most of our friends aren’t on Google+ yet, so there’s no activity there.)”
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[slide
permalink=”sharing-updates-links-photos-etc-looks-a-lot-like-facebook-too-you-post-the-status-link-photo-or-video-to-the-box-at-the-top-of-your-stream-18″
title=”Sharing updates, links, photos, etc. looks a lot like Facebook too. You post the status, link, photo, or video to the box at the top of your stream.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e0b2ceccadcbb4028230000″
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[slide
permalink=”when-you-share-something-you-can-choose-to-only-share-with-one-of-your-circles-or-make-it-public-19″
title=”When you share something, you can choose to only share with one of your Circles or make it public”
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[slide
permalink=”whenever-someone-adds-you-to-a-circle-or-starts-following-you-you-get-a-notification-like-this-in-the-upper-right-hand-corner-20″
title=”Whenever someone adds you to a Circle or starts following you, you get a notification like this in the upper right hand corner.”
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[slide
permalink=”clicking-hangouts-lets-you-start-a-group-video-chat-you-can-invite-individuals-or-everyone-in-your-circle-to-join-21″
title=”Clicking “Hangouts” lets you start a group video chat. You can invite individuals or everyone in your Circle to join.”
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[slide
permalink=”jay-yarow-was-nice-enough-to-visit-our-hangout-the-video-chat-is-almost-exactly-the-same-as-it-is-in-gmail-but-google-lets-you-chat-with-multiple-people-if-you-want-22″
title=”Jay Yarow was nice enough to visit our Hangout. The video chat is almost exactly the same as it is in Gmail, but Google+ lets you chat with multiple people if you want.”
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[slide
permalink=”if-video-isnt-your-thing-you-can-chat-with-your-google-talk-buddies-within-google-its-exactly-the-same-as-gmail-23″
title=”If video isn’t your thing, you can chat with your Google Talk buddies within Google+. It’s exactly the same as Gmail.”
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[slide
permalink=”under-settings-there-are-options-to-choose-when-you-want-to-be-notified-about-certain-google-activities-we-decided-to-uncheck-all-of-these-24″
title=”Under settings, there are options to choose when you want to be notified about certain Google+ activities. We decided to uncheck all of these.”
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[slide
permalink=”we-like-this-google-lets-you-download-all-your-profile-information-if-you-want-to-back-it-up-25″
title=”We like this: Google+ lets you download all your profile information if you want to back it up.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-dont-forget-to-adjust-your-privacy-settings-our-profile-is-public-but-you-can-keep-it-limited-to-your-google-contacts-and-circles-if-you-want-26″
title=”And don’t forget to adjust your privacy settings. Our profile is public, but you can keep it limited to your Google contacts and Circles if you want.”
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[slide
permalink=”if-you-have-an-android-phone-you-can-download-the-google-app-it-gives-you-the-option-to-automatically-upload-photos-you-take-with-your-phone-to-google-we-took-this-photo-on-our-nexus-s-and-it-was-in-our-stream-almost-immediately-27″
title=”If you have an Android phone, you can download the Google+ app. It gives you the option to automatically upload photos you take with your phone to Google+. We took this photo on our Nexus S and it was in our Stream almost immediately.”
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[slide
permalink=”but-at-the-end-of-the-day-can-google-replace-facebook-28″
title=”But at the end of the day, can Google+ replace Facebook?”
content=”Our answer: No.

As you just saw, Google+ is essentially a Facebook clone. With the exception of group video chat, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do in Google+ that you’re already doing in Facebook. We don’t see how Google+ ‘fixes’ Facebook’s problems either. The sharing mechanics are almost identical.”
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[slide
permalink=”want-to-know-more-about-google-29″
title=”Want to know more about Google+?”
content=”Click here for our breakdown of each feature >
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