Tips for Google+ Beginners

Google+ is the search engine giant’s answer to the omnipresent social network that goes by the name of Facebook. If you are a common internet user, it’s likely that you have a Facebook account to keep in touch with friends and family or reconnect with those who have lost touch. Since Facebook has been around for a while now, you may consider yourself to be an expert when it comes to using the social network. Google+, however, is rather new and has its own style. To help you become aware of all that Google+ has to offer, here are some tips for beginners that should help you adapt.

Memorize and Make Use of Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcuts are a great way to increase efficiency and save time.  Google+ has some shortcuts of its own that you can learn and employ while using the social network, so getting to know them from the start is beneficial.  For example, you can hit Tab and Return to finish a comment, hit Q to jump to the chat feature, hit K to scroll up a post, and much more.

Use Drag and Drop to Save Time

You may be used to programs that require you to upload files using a clunky interface.  Luckily, Google+ is no such program.  Adding photos, videos, and links to your Google+ page is easy as can be thanks to drag and drop functionality.  As you navigate your computer and find a photo, video, or link you want to share, just drag it and drop it into the share box on Google+ and you are done.  It’s that simple.

Learn How to Tag Quickly

Tagging friends in posts on Google+ is extremely easy.  All you have to is type the + symbol followed by the username of the friend you want to tag.  As you begin typing their username, Google+ will give you autofill suggestions that you can select for quick tagging.

Be Aware of Your Circles

Circles on Google+ refer to organized groups of contacts that you can create for sharing purposes.  The more contacts you have, the easier it is to forget who belongs to which circle.  This could create problems when it comes to sharing, as you may not want certain people to see some items that you post.  When you create a new post or intend to share a link, click on Limited to see who the post will be shared with.  A popup will appear that displays icons of all those who will see the post so you can rethink your actions before it is too late.

Beyond sharing, it’s also important to configure your Circles settings in terms of visibility.  Your profile will show people who have you in their Circles, as well as who you have in yours.  You can edit who can see such information by selecting the Edit profile option on your page and clicking the small gray globe in the Circles section. 

Avoid Pesky Email Notifications

As anyone with a Facebook or other social networking account may know, having email notifications enabled can quickly go from being helpful to highly irritating.  If you check on your account frequently, there’s really no need for a ton of email notifications that overflow your inbox.  With Google+, you can disable email notifications altogether, or you can select which actions result in an email.  You can tweak these settings by clicking on the little gear icon located in the top right-hand corner of your Google+ page.  Click Google+ settings, and continue from there until you have your email notifications configured just how you want them.

Know the Mute Function

Muting comes in handy when you are watching television and want to avoid listening to a certain commercial, song, etc.  As you probably know by now, the internet has its fair share of annoyances as well, and Google+ or any social network will present instances where muting can come in handy.  Google+’s mute function can be applied when you want to essentially ignore a post.  This could occur if you responded to a post but do not want to be updated on any new additions.  To mute a post, simply locate the arrow at the top of the post, click on it, and select the Mute this post option to avoid any further irritation.  If you want to check back in on the post, you can unmute it by following the same directions.

Make a Short, Vanity URL for Google+

A vanity URL refers to a shorter, custom URL that can be used instead of the lengthy one allocated to you by Google+.  While Google+ does not have a vanity URL system set up at this time like its competitor Facebook, there is an avenue that will get you to that point.  You can create your own vanity URL by visiting gplus.to.  The site specializes in vanity URLs for Google+ and is easy to use.  Simply enter your nickname or username into the appropriate field, and follow the guidelines given to you.  Next, enter your Google+ ID, which is the long set of numbers that corresponds to your Google+ account.  Click Add, and your vanity URL will be created.

Now, there are obviously more tips to help you get the most out of Google+, but the aforementioned should give you a good springboard for getting started.  As with anything, practice makes perfect, so the more time you put into Google+, the better you will become at managing all of its features.

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