What is Google+ (Google Plus)?
In 2015, Google Plus took a different direction by becoming more focused on the interest-based communities that have been popular on the platform. Google+ head David Besbris said that the company was working on "making communities even more central" to the service.
At that time, Google+ was redesigned around Collections and Communities, which grouped together content on specific topics. For example, there were Collections for cooking, DIY projects and animals. There were Communities for specific interests like photography, parenting and science fiction. Users could also create their own Community or Collection if they couldn't find one that was a perfect fit.
What were Google+ features?
Google Plus offered several features designed to connect users with others and share information.
Circles. This was a Google+ feature that let users group together different people for different purposes. For example, you could have a Circle for family, one for friends and one for work colleagues.
Hangouts. The Hangouts messaging app let users send messages, make video calls, and even share photos and emojis. Users kept in touch with people in their Circles or anyone else who had a Google account through Hangouts. Despite Google Plus being discontinued, Hangouts remains as a Google Drive application.
Communities. Communities were groups of people with similar interests. There were Communities for just about everything to fit users' interests.
Collections: Collections were a way to group together content around specific topics. For example, users could have Collections for recipes, DIY projects or articles about animals.
Google integrations included the following:
- Google Photos. Google's photo sharing and storage service let users share photos with their Circles directly from Google Photos.
- YouTube. YouTube let users share YouTube videos with Circles on Google Plus.
- Gmail. Users could email people in their Circles directly from Gmail.
Getting started with Google
While Google+ may be discontinued, users can still create a Google account to take advantage of features that were previously featured in Google+. These work management and communication tools includeHangouts, Chat and Meet. If users already have a Gmail account, they can access these right away. Otherwise, they should go to Google.com and click on the "Create an account" button to set up an account.
Once they have a Google account, users can start using Google's suite of business and personal applications.