Five Things you didn’t know you could do with Google+

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To help you make the most of your Google+ account here are five things you didn’t know you could do with Google+.

1. Access your Google+ account via SMS. You don’t need a smart phone and a data plan to stay connected. Set up your Google+ account for SMS updates (https://www.google.com/settings/plus), and you’re all set to post on the go.

2. Looking for people and pages that share your interests? Looking for fellow foodies to swap recipes with or chefs to follow? Or are you more interested in discussing the latest fashions, tech trends or astronomy? Whatever your interest, enter <your interest> in the Search box on top, and select ‘People and pages’ under ‘Everything’ and you’ll get a list of people and pages that share your interest, whether it’s food, art, photography or even entomology.

You can also narrow your search to posts from your circles, to just Google+ posts, to Hangouts or by location.

3. Add to the global conversation. A convention that was invented by Googler Chris Messina for Twitter, the hashtag (or #) symbol is a great way to add your say to a global, public conversation. These become automatic links that allow people to search all across Google+ for particular topics. These have also proved handy in organizing online festivals like #gplusfilmfestival, #pluswineweek or #tokyophotowalk.

4. Hangouts! Even with a slow internet connection. A low bandwidth is no reason to miss a good hangout. Once you’re in a hangout, click on ‘Settings’ and select the ‘slow connection’ option, and save your changes.

5. Tweak, caption and post! With the ‘Creative Kit’ you can easily autocorrect, sharpen, crop, edit and add special effects, shapes and text to your pictures. You can also start internet memes by clicking ‘Add text’ and quickly ‘addz txt to yr kitteh foto’.

6. Turn the volume up or down on groups of people! Google+ allows you to adjust the volume on circles. So you can tell Google+ to give you more or less posts from a group of people or pages. For instance, Google+ tracks which posts are being shared and commented on the most, but if you want to see less of those posts, you click on “What’s Hot” and, using the slider in the top-right corner, say if you want it to “show nothing” or “show more.”