Google Plus (stylized as Google +) is an Internet-based social network that is owned and operated by Google. With their own profile, people can share videos, photos and posts. Thanks to the creation of “Circles”, the user can decide with whom to share his/her contents. For instance, if you share a post about your work, you can allow only the circle of your colleagues to see it. Moreover, users can become part of a community where people with the same interests can talk and share contents. Instant messaging is also possible through Hangouts.
- Compatibility: Accessible through computers & mobile devices.
- User accounts: Users have to sign on Google Plus with their Gmail account.
- Post privacy options: One’s Google plus account is visible to everybody on the web, unless the user sets privacy settings. When sharing content, the user can decide which circle(s) can see it.
- User profile: It displays pictures, information about the user, posts and status updates. Connections to other social media accounts or blogs where the user publishes content are also present.
- Circles: Users can add contacts to their circles by sending them a request that has to be accepted. Circles help organize groups of people, decide who may watch our content and control user’s steam.
- Steam: It is the place where users can see updates from their circles. From here, they can also enter posts and upload pictures or videos as well.
- +1 button: It allows people to recommend articles. It has almost the same function as the “like” button of Facebook.
- Communities: They are groups of people who have the same interests and are aimed at sharing contents on a specific topic. In public communities, everybody can see their posts, but only their members can post or comment. On the contrary, in private communities, people have to be invited to join it and members are the only ones able to see their posts.
Who uses the tool
UK in 2016
Google Plus can be a support for all students in vocational training and for their teachers as well.
- Google Plus can facilitate communication between teachers and students. Announcements can be posted on the platform so that students can easily check them and keep a record.
- Communities can also be used to improve students’ engagement. For instance, Google Plus can be used to share information and material to deepen notions that have been discussed in class. In addition, students may raise their doubts and get support both from the teacher and from other classmates, thus resulting in collaboration among peers.
- Students can be encouraged to develop an enhanced knowledge of a specific topic by producing and posting content about it. It can be done in a way that includes digital materials, videos etc. so that it can perhaps be more suitable and immediate for other mates. Hence, the rest of the class can also learn and understand more about it.
Privacy & User data
The app collects the following types of information from all users:
- Information users provide directly to Google Plus when registering;
- Information about services used, sites visited and YouTube videos watched
- Information about the device used;
- Data about physical location;
- Cookies and similar technologies.
The app uses this information to:
- Provide, maintain, protect and improve them, to develop new ones and to protect users and Google itself.
- Save user’s language preferences and show tailored ads.
- Show relevant search results
- Display users’ Profile name, Profile photo, and actions taken on Google or on third-party applications connected to his/her Google Account.