Social media is everywhere, from Facebook share buttons on our smartphones to “Tweet this” buttons on news articles you might find interesting, enabling the instant sharing of information with everyone on your friend list. +1 buttons are popping up as well, posting the item to your Google+ profile.
Just like Facebook, your Google+ friends can share your posts, links, and photos, reposting them on their wall if they so desire, exposing the information to their friends list, and possibly being reshared over and over again.
Unlike Facebook, however, you have the option to block anyone from commenting on the post, and even block the item from ever being reposted by anyone on your friend list. This option is available even before you post it, a recently new feature, and it's quite simple. Before this option was made available, you were forced to post and then set the privacy, setting the info up to possibly be shared in the brief few seconds it takes to click the mouse.
How It Works
Let's say you have photos you've uploaded of your family trip to Florida. You want your friends to see them, but you know that your sister Irene in Minnesota loves to hit that share button to show people on her friend list her favorite nieces and nephews, exposing photos of your children to people you do not know.
Furthermore, those people you do not know may find one of them adorable or funny, and might share it with their friend list, and so on and so forth. Your innocent family photos have now become the next viral photo sensation.
When you upload your photos, you will perform the usual steps: select the camera icon in the status update box, choose whether you are uploading one photo or multiple, select the photo(s) and open them. When they are uploaded and ready to post, you will see a little grey arrow on the lower right of the share box.
Click this arrow and a host of options pop up. Click “Lock this post” and click share, and you've just shared your photo securely. Not only are the photos protected from being shared with the world, no one but you can +mention anyone, and even if someone is tagged in an album, if they aren't on your friend's list, they won't see it, plain and simple.
It works the same for anything you might post, from status updates to links. It will all be safe and secure from being spread around the internet unknowingly.
The other new feature they have just released is the “Disable comments” feature, which is contained in the same drop down menu as the previous feature. This feature does just what it sounds like, locking the post from being able to receive comments from anyone at all but you.
The Social Media War Is On
With these new features, it is clear that Google is attempting to woo users of Facebook which keeps changing the design of the site, much to the users' dismay. Google+ offers an uncluttered approach to social media, and with these new releases, they are certainly raising the privacy bar to a level Facebook has yet to reach.