Things have been a bit quiet on the Google+ Insider's Guide this week. With the launch of the new Facebook, Google+ is finding itself a bit on the defensive. However, recent data shows that by making Google+ available to the general public, their traffic has jumped 13-fold, according to Mashable. With the new growth also comes the introduction of cool new features, which further enhance sharing.
People can now share circles publicly, and you can add their circles directly to yours. Some caveats: you can only share 250 people in a circle at a time, and you can't pick and choose which of those 250 show up in the circle. To share a circle, select your circle and then click on "Share this circle".
Some of my favorite public circles shared so far:
- +Louis Gray shared his Women in Tech & Media circle.
- +Robert Scoble shared his Geeks circle, comprised of programmers and developers.
- +Maggie Koerth-Baker shared her Academy circle, full of scientists, researchers and PhD students.
- +Micah Wittman shared his Google+ extension developers circle.
- +Jeff Jarvis shared his Journalists on Google+ circle.
Want to find out if you've been shared in a circle? Do a search in Google+ for "shared a circle with" + "your name". Or if you're looking for a particular interest, search for "shared a circle with" + "topic". For example, "shared a circle with" + food brings up some great collections of foodies.
(However, the search isn't perfect - it also brought up a lot of shared circles that had nothing to do with food.) You can also save your search, to revisit later if you want.
Google+ is a hit with professional photographers for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that Google+ Photos displays your images in a beautiful manner. Now we can also download photos from our favorite photographers if they allow it.
To enable other people to download your photos, go the Google+ settings page. Scroll down to the Photos section, and check the box for "Allow viewers to download my photos". If you don't want people to download your photos, leave it unchecked.
If you see a photo you do like and want to download it, go ahead and view it in the lightbox. Click on Actions in the bottom right corner, and select Download.
Celebrities are finding hangouts a great way to connect with their fans, face-to-face, especially since hangouts can now be simultaneously broadcasted on YouTube. So who's hosting hangouts?
Don't forget to join +will.i.am and crew for their second hangout, and first ever one from both back and onstage with the Black Eyed Peas tonight!