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Google+ Offers a New Social Experience

En español | Editor’s Note: AARP TEK stands for technology, education, and knowledge. TEK helps people 50-plus who want plain language and user-friendly information on how to best use personal technology. The free program provides comprehensive online and in-person technology tips, trends, tools and hands-on lessons.

Google+ is one of the newer, yet larger, social networks you may have never heard of. The site offers you a chance to publish information to a wide array of people. You get to choose who sees your posts.

Facebook for New User

Jen Lee Reeves is AARP's social media trainer. — Ian Cunningham

Think of social networks along the spectrum between Facebook and Twitter. Facebook allows you the opportunity to post information to just your friends inside the social network (although there are increasingly more ways to share content through Facebook to the public), while posting to Twitter is always to the public.

See also: Step-by-step guide on jumping into Google+ (PDF)

When someone follows you on Facebook, you almost always end up connecting with people you actually know. On Twitter, anyone can connect and follow your posts.

Google+ offers a middle ground. Anyone can follow you and see what you say to the public. But that doesn’t mean you have to share to the public. If you want to post information to a specific circle of people, they will be the only ones who can see your post. At the same time, you can post information to the public and people who may not know you personally can see what you have to say.

This difference is that you cannot pick who follows you on Google+, but you can customize who gets to hear what you want to say.

Sometimes you may want to post information to your friends, coworkers or neighbors. But every once in a while, you may decide to post information to all three circles. You might have one or two neighbors who are friends and coworkers. When that happens, the people who fit in an overlapping circle will hear your message just once. But they are certain to be included in Google+.

The social network gives you a much more tailored opportunity in how you choose to share information.

Check out my step-by-step guide on jumping into Google+ and discover how you can use other social media platforms on the AARP TEK social media training page.

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