Following May’s total makeover of Google+, Google+ is rolling out a new feature that will highlight posts your friends like. Now, in your Google+ stream you’ll occasionally see posts +1’d by people in your circles, and people in your circles will occasionally see posts you’ve +1’d.
Similar to the way Facebook incorporates posts your friends like into your News Feed, Google+ will now highlight posts your friends +1, indicating which of your contacts +1’d the post through a banner placed at the top.
Settings on Google+
+1 updates are not meant to give additional people access to your posts but rather to call extra attention to certain posts. Just as before, only friends who have permission to view posts will be able to see them. There are, however, certain settings you can tweak to limit who can receive your +1 updates and whose +1 updates you’ll see.
Limit Who Sees Your +1’s
You can decide who, if anyone, is able to see posts you’ve +1’d. By default, people in your extended circles (that is, friends of your friends) who also have you in circles may see your +1 activity updates. Again, extended friends will only see your updates if they have access to your original post. By default your activity updates may also be visible in Google+ search results, only to those who have access to your original post.
To personalize who can see receive your +1 updates, visit your Google+ settings. Scroll down to “Apps and activities” and select “Manage apps and activities.” From there, select the Google tab at the top and click “edit,” located under “Visible to.” There you can choose a circle from the dropdown menu or click “Custom” to include many circles and/or individuals. When you finish, click “Save.”
Control the Amount of +1 Updates in Your Stream
You can control how often you see activity updates from certain circles or whose updates appear in your stream at all. To remove an update from your stream, hover over the post and click the arrow button. Select “mute” from the dropdown menu and the post will be removed from your stream.
To set how frequently updates from certain circles will appear, navigate to your home stream and click on the circle you’d like to adjust. Click the settings button in the “in this circle” card, navigate to the “Amount” menu, and choose from “More,” “Standard,” and “Fewer.”
To learn more about using the +1 feature, visit Google’s support page.
The Rise of Google+
The May update to Google+ gave the network a new look, adding multiple columns, dynamic hashtags, and innovative capabilities for photo editing and sharing. Additionally, a couple weeks after Google+’s redesign, the network surpassed Twitter as the second-most populated social network, making it seem like things are looking up for the network.
Personally, when I see useful features added to Google+ it makes me wish more of my contacts were active on the network. That way I could use Google+ as my main social network instead of creepy Facebook.
How do you feel about Google+? What are your favorite and least favorite features of the network?