Beginner’s Guide to Google+

If you want to know what Google+ is and how to use it, read on for Rachel’s complete beginner’s guide, starting with the name.

If you want to know what Google+ is and how to use it, read on for Rachel’s complete beginner’s guide, starting with the name.

How do I say Google+?
Google+ is pronounced ‘Google Plus’

What is Google+?
Google+ is a social networking site, much life Facebook. There are three main differences between Google+ and Facebook:

  • Google+ is owned by Google, and therefore ties in with Google’s other services, like Gmail and Google Maps
  • Google+ has only just opened to the public, so there are fewer people and organisations currently signed up.
  • Google+ is simpler than Facebook. It only offers the services people are really using, without all the extra stuff. This may change as its popularity grows.

How do I sign up?

Go to and click on +You in the top left hand corner

If you have a Google account, such as a Gmail account, click the orange ‘Sign In’ button, and enter your Google account details. If you have never signed up for a Google account, click the ‘Create an account’ button, then go back and click the orange ‘Sign In’ button.

You will be asked to create an account. Fill in your name and gender, and upload a photo so your friends can recognise you. There is also a tickbox that says “Google may use my information to personalize content and ads on non-Google web sites”. If you leave this ticked Google will watch what you say and look at on Google+, and it will then make sure the ads you see on other websites are more relevant to you. It all feels a bit big-brother to me, so I chose to untick this box.

When you hit the ‘Join’ button you will be asked to link your Google+ account with your Picasa albums. You don’t have a choice about this – you have to click ‘Link Google+ with Picasa Web’. Clicking ‘Cancel’ will just stop the signing up process. If you do use Picasa (Google’s photo sharing service) it just means your photos will appear in your account. If you don’t, it doesn’t make a difference.

Next Google+ will ask you for some personal information. You don’t have to fill this out, but it’s really helpful if people are trying to find you. This is particularly important if there is someone else with the same name as you on Google+.

Filling in this extra information helps your friends work out which one is you. Once you are done, click continue. You are now signed up!

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Sep 2011
    I think this is a great new service offered by google, looking forward to using it.
    4th May 2013
    Thank you for this clear, useful explanation

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