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Everything You Need To Know About Google+ (Including What The Heck It Is)

google circles

Photo: Screenshot

Google finally announced Google+, its next effort in social.Basically, Google+ is an amalgamation of several services we already use. The idea, according to Google, is to do them better.

We’ll have a full review and impressions soon. In the meantime, check out our breakdown of what Google+ can do below.

Google Circles are groups of friends you organise by topic: Friends, Family, College Buddies, Roommates, etc.

From your Circles page you drag and drop your contacts into each of these groups, which makes it easier to share what you want with them.

Sparks helps you find interesting content based on interest

Sparks is like Google Reader, except it brings content to you automatically based on your interests. Each topic (tech, kitties, whatever) will get its own 'Spark' page and provide links to related articles, videos, photos, etc.

Hangouts lets you video chat with all your buddies

Hangouts are virtual rooms where you can video chat with people in your circles. For example, if you're not busy, you can start a talk with your pals.

So, basically, it's just video chat.

Huddles is a new group messaging app

Huddles is group messaging for people within your Circles. There's a mobile app available for Android now that lets you send messages from your phone. Select your group, and everyone can chat with each other.

Instant Upload shares your mobile photos

This one's simple. When you snap a photo on your Android phone, it's automatically uploaded to Google+.

How do you get to Google+?

So how do you access Google+? You know that handy toolbar at the top of your screen when you're logged into Google? That's changing.

Soon, it will turn into a transparent grey bar with a '+You' button that will be your portal to all the features we just mentioned.

Google+ for Android will let you do all of this from your phone

Google+ is on Android too. Once you receive your Google+ invite, you can download the app here. It includes a Twitter-like 'stream' of updates from your friends.

How do you get it?

Google+ is invite-only right now. You can visit the Google+ home page to request one.

Eventually, everyone with a Google account will be phased in to the program. When you log in you'll see the +You button as pictured here.

Now find out what everyone's saying about Google+

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