Top 5 Reasons you should be on Google+: [4] Collections

Updated on 18th August, 2017 ✪ The post is current and up-to-date now. To recap, in this 5-article series on 'Why Google+', we have discussed so far: Immersive Look-and-FeelCircles and Communities. My next take is Google+ Collections ! Collections is as exciting as the first 3. Here it goes:

[4] Collections

Google's philosophy behind Google+ is to provide users an interest-based social experience. To maintain this focus, sometimes it involved removing features like Photos and Location sharing and other times, introducing new features like Collections and programs like Google+ Create. For years, Google+ is developing and growing continuously as a social media platform where people engage around their interests with the content they curious about and with the people who inspire them.

Collections is a comparatively new Google+ feature helping improve this focus further. It was launched on 4th May, 2015. 'Collections' helps users in organising posts by the topics they care about. Users can create a Collection by grouping together posts on one topic. They can create as many Collections as they want. The idea is to group posts with same topic together. Google+ allows them to share their creation i.e. Collection/s and follow others' creations. 

Each Collection can be shared publicly, privately or with a custom set of people. This choice is made at the time of creating a new Collection and can't be changed later. For example, I have public collections themed around 'All things Google' and focused on the topic 'Blogging for beginners'. As you can see, it goes down well with Google's philosophy of an interest-based social experience.

Where can you find Collections?

On your Desktop, when you are logged into your Google+ account, you can click Menu Menu and then Discover to explore the innumerable Collections across Google+. If you want to create your own, click Menu Menu and then Profile and you will find 'Create a Collection' box right under the top banner.

On your mobile phone, you can find and go to Collections from the bottom tab-strip:

The new posts from your followed Collections appear in your Home stream. For example, if you follow my Collection focused on 'All things Google', you will see my posts in your Home stream:

The post will display the name of the Collection after the publisher's name toward the top. You can click on the name and go to Collection to see all the posts there. If you are interested in creating a Collection of your own, you can follow the Best practices guide created by the Google+ Collections Community. You can download this Free PDF book here.

Hope it clarified things if you have not used Collections before. So make a head start today, have fun exploring, following, creating and sharing Collections. And here is the next and last article in the series: Google+ Events. Enjoy!

✪ August 5, 2017: Google  Photos was spinned out of Google+ in May, 2015 to be a stand-alone app that allows users to use Photos without any need of signing up for Google+. The below post shows Photos on Google+ main menu but it has been removed now. I am keeping the pictures unchanged for historical interest and as an opportunity to have a look at Google Photos's birthplace. You may read about Google Photos of today in my latest and up-to-date blog post.

Original Article

Next magnificent one is Google+ Photos ! This is of course as exciting as the 3 we discussed so far: Immersive Look-and-Feel, Circles and Communities. It has caught the fancy of people interested in taking and sharing lot of photos. Photos has many commendable features ! You can access Photos from Google Plus here:

How to Google+: Photos
I really found Google+ Photos extremely helpful and handy to store and manage my photos. It has great features whether you approach from your mobile app Photos or Google+ on laptop.

If you use the mobile app - Photos - you can turn on Auto Back-up. You have the option to choose the network settings for back-up - Wi-fi or Mobile and Wi-fi.  So if you have chosen Wi-fi for your network settings, when-ever you are back to Wi-fi network, photos taken from your mobile since last back-up will be uploaded to Google+. Not only that you can share them to your Circles. Photos stored on your computer can also be uploaded and shared. The below screen displays what you get when you use Photos for the first time:

How to Google+: Photos (Get started)
The Highlights feature (highlighted with red rectangle above) is helpful too. Google+ creates highlights from albums so that sorting through your stored photos is fast and easy. Auto-enhance feature - as named - enhances or improves the photos so that people or things look their best. Of course, if you don't like these auto-enhanced changes, you can easily undo them. Check auto-enhance effect here. Another amazing feature is Auto-awesome ! When you upload a sequence of 5 or more photos, this feature turns this collection of photos into animated GIF ! Check this awesome Google+ feature here. Then, Google offers a great application for organizing, sharing and editing your pictures - Picasa. You can download Picasa on your system. First time it runs, it identifies all images on your system. You can create albums from your photos and upload and share them to Google+. You can sync these albums between your system and Google+ Photos albums. There are wonderful editing options which allow to transform your photos ! You can create collage from multiple photos! Go to Picasa to download and learn more. At last, I will come to the storage limit you have to store your pictures in Google+ Photos. Your Google account comes with a free limit of 15 GB. But here is the Good News: Only Photos bigger than 2048x2048 pixels use your storage. Everything smaller than that is free. Check the plan details from Google if you have any different requirements. Enjoy and have fun with your photos with Photos ! Learn more about Photos here and here...

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