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Google+ was introduced in June 2011 to selected invitees and then to the public in August 2011 as a new take on Social Networking - providing less of the Social, more Networking and adding features that appeal to professional users and provide everyone with control over how their content and information is published that makes it similar to, but as a potential educational tool, much more suitable than Facebook.

Google claim that over the year or so since launch, Google+ has attracted 500 million users across the world, still trailing Facebook’s claimed 1 billion but establishing the network as a successful addition to the Google family. With increased design links and integration with GMail, Picasa (soon to become Google Photos) and Google Drive, logging in to any Google service now automatically provides users with a Google+ presence should they wish to use and develop it.

At the heart of Google+ are Circles. Like Facebook and Twitter, you can link to people and see their posts and others can ‘add’ you. In Google+ you can also create groups of people and, when sharing posts, you can easily select whether to share with just one or more Circles or make broader publications, including Public, which can be seen by anyone.

So someone you add may appear in a Family Circle, a Friends Circle and, say, a Vintage Car Enthusiasts Circle. Another may only be in your Education Circle. This makes sharing much simpler and helps to avoid a stream of irrelevant information arriving on others screens every day. Similarly, you can decide how much of other people’s publications or posts you wish to see - from everything (which might be best for Family) or very little (where you have added someone to share certain things with but don’t really want to see much of what they publish!)

Google+ offers two particular uses as a web tool in education: setting up Pages to share information and encourage collaboration and Search facilities within Google+

Google+

Introduction

Your Profile

Setting up a Page

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Example

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Posts, Hangouts and Communities

Places

Places and Events

Suggested uses

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