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The Google+ Guide

The Google+ Guide
Circles, Photos, and Hangouts
by Scott McNulty

Peachpit Press, 2011

Launched on June 28, 2011, Google+ is a social network that recognizes that people interact with multiple circles of friends and acquaintances who may or may not overlap. It allows users to set up or join any number Circles of users linked by common interests, locations, idealogies or tastes.
The Google+ Guide

Actively competing with Facebook and Twitter, Google+ had attracted more than 40 million users in its first six months.

Social networking products unique to Google+ include Stream (a newsfeed), Sparks (a recommendation engine), Hangouts (a video chat service), Circles (a friend management service) along with games and photo collections.


The nine chapters in this book explain how to set up and manage circles, post content or "share," hold videoconferencing "hangouts," upload photos, search, use the network on smartphones, play games, and personalize settings.

Since the book is likely to be out of date within months, readers can register their book for free online updates as Google+ changes.


Google+ attempts to replicate your real-life social networks with circles. But how can it replicate one of the best aspects of having friends—impromptu hanging out—on the Internet? Google+ has a feature that tries to do just that, cleverly named hangouts.

Hangouts are basically videoconferences that you can start from Google+. Invite people or circles, and folks can join your hangout and shoot the breeze. You can even watch YouTube videos together!

A few things to know about hangouts:

Hangouts require the Google voice and video plug-in to work. Download it here.

Each hangout can have a maximum ten participants.

At 90 minutes, Google+ checks in to make sure that your hangout is still happening. If no one responds, the hangout ends automatically.

Your computer must have a webcam and a microphone attached to it to audio/video chat.

Source: Peachpit Press

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