Your Google+ Tips for July 5th

Ray Sherry Hangout In Real Life

Your Google Plus Tips for July 5th

1. Hangouts in an instant

2. Profile photos added to Comment Tracker

3. Explore Google+ Hashtags

Google Hangouts in an instant

Video chat without downloading a plugin

Google is trying to make entering Google+ Hangouts as frictionless as possible.

So last week they rolled out the ability to enter your first Hangout without needing to download the Hangout video conferencing plugin for its Chrome browser.

Just click to start the Hangout, allow Hangouts to use your camera and microphone, and all set.

This update is rolling out to all Chrome users over the next few weeks.

It doesn’t sound like much, but anything that can be done to simplify entry will be a “plus”.

Start Hangout no plugin 1
Start Hangout 2
Start hangout no plugin 3

Profile photos added to Comment Tracker

Profile photo in Comment Tracker

The Comment Tracker app for Hangouts On Air is a valuable tool for increasing engagement on HOAs.

This allows the participants inside the HOA, including Host and filmstrip,  to pull up comments and questions from the people watching live and display them in the video.

Before this development, all people would see was the name of the guest followed by the comment or question.

Now they also see the guest’s profile photo. 

This is a valuable branding tool that should encourage people to attend live HOAs and engage. 

There's a lot of networking that goes on in the audience during a HOA that adds both entertainment and information to the topic discussed inside the video.

HOAs are recorded and uploaded to YouTube.

So it comes as no surprise that the largest number of views for a show comes after the host has hit the "stop broadcast" button.

Having your profile photo show up inside a HOA ensures that those viewing it later get to see you and your insightful and witty contributions to the show.

This also introduces you to people outside your own circles thus increasing your reach.

Explore Google+ Hashtags

Google+ navigation bar

Google Plus Explorer

#Hashtags are great for doing searches, especially on Google+. It’s the best way finding people and topics specific to your interests.

Google+ loves Hashtags so much, it adds one to your post if you forget to.

You can turn off the auto hashtag by heading over to your settings:

1. Connect to your Google + account.
2. Click on Home > Settings.
3. Scroll to the "Hashtags" section.
4. Uncheck "Add related hashtags from Google on my newly created posts".
5. Click on the "Back to Google +" link.

The  “Explore” sits next to “More” on your G+ navigation toolbar.

The desktop version includes:
1. A summary view that highlights posts across multiple categories.

2. A starter set of topics (like Music, Sports and Photography) that you can click on to explore further. What’s Hot is also listed here, instead of in the navigation bar.

3. The ability to search for specific topics, and read what others are saying about them.

4. The option to “go deeper” on relevant sub-topics (like #HolidayBaking) when you select or search for a topic (like #FoodAndDrink).

5. An easy way to follow the people and/or join the communities that are talking about the stuff you’re into.

To get started on desktop, simply click “Explore” at the top of your Home stream.

Google Plus Hashtags

Related Hashtag Suggestions:

By clicking on the featured hashtag in a post, the card rotates enabling you to scroll through five other posts with that specific Hashtag.

The last card gives you a list of related hashtags.

With the new "Explore" button, you can research topics and grow your circles with people who posts on topics you're interested in. 

It should come with a warning though. 

It can be a bit of a rabbit hole as one hashtag leads to another discovery. 

If you haven’t played with it yet, put some time aside to explore “Explore” to:

- Find relevant connections
- Mine content ideas
- Measure trends
- explore related topics.

 Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you found it helpful, please share.
And if you haven’t already, join our Google+ Tips & Topics Community.
You can catch up on past #GPlusLunchBunch shows on my YouTube channel or Google+ Page.