Google Plus recently renamed renamed Huddle to Google+ Messenger and also added photo sharing ability to the same to make it more interactive. But it is seen that most people are still confused on how to use this feature as they do not see this on their Google+ browser screen. So, I am writing his Google Plus Tutorial to clarify any such doubts.
At first, I would like to clarify that Google+ Messenger is mainly suited to Android Phones though you can also use it through gmail for replying back to chat initiated on an Android phone. Email option would probably not be activated by default in your Google+ account but you can activate it from your G+ settings. However, if you are looking for a normal Messenger icon inside your Google+ account then you would not find it and that is where most people are confused. In layman’s words, Google+ Messenger is an advanced chat or text application which allows you to group chat with a bunch of friends on your Android mobile phone and optionally through gmail. The official summary mentioned on the Google+ website explains it all:
Coordinating friends can be hard, especially if you’re trying to text a bunch of people at once. Messenger brings all those separate conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone is on the same page with no hassle.
Google+ Messenger for Email: This is the part where everyone seems to be confused and looking for answers and tutorials. Messenger will not give the best experience in a web browser because it is not meant for web browser usage as of now but you can nonetheless activate it in Gmail too by changing a few settings. To change the settings, click on the top right icon of your Google+ screen. You will see a drop-down where you can click on Google+ settings. Make sure the Google+ settings option is also chosen on the left sidebar. You will then find the option in notification settings on that page where you can choose if Google should email you when someone starts a conversation with you through Google+ Messenger. If you have a phone added, then the phone settings are enabled by default but it would probably not be checked for email. So, you need to check the email option too and save it. Further down, you will find an option on “Who can start a conversation with me” and you can either choose “Anyone”, “Circles” or “Extended Circles” for the same. That is all and you are ready to receive Google+ Messenger notifications in your Email if somebody starts a conversation with you. Please note that even if you activate the Messenger for Email, you cannot initiate a chat through messenger from inside your Gmail account. You can only receive a chat sent from a Google Plus smartphone app (android as of now) and reply to the conversation. So, as I mentioned earlier this feature is primarily meant for mobile web only and not for desktop use.
Photo credit: googlemobile.blogspot.com
Google+ Messenger for Android phones: Even in the mobile web, Google+ Messenger only works on Android phones as of now and does not work on any other mobile phone. So, first of all you would need an Android phone for using the messenger feature properly. The official Google+ app can be downloaded from the Android market here. Once it is downloaded and installed, you will see the green “Messenger” icon on the top right of the Google+ Android app screen. You need to click on that and you will be taken to the Google Plus Messenger screen. To start a conversation from messenger, select the circle you would like to have the conversation with or type the name of the person(s) with whom you would like to chat. For example, in the image above above it displays a conversation with the “college friends” circle. You can then type the message and click on send and it will be sent to everyone in that circle or to everyone whom you have selected. If you want to add photos to the conversation, then you can either take a photo or select photo to send to the messenger chat using the camera icon on the left bottom corner of your messenger screen. Your friends can reply back to you or the circle in the same way and thus the group conversation/chat goes ahead. So, irrespective of where you are or what you are doing right now, you can share every moment live with your friends and loved ones with in a single click. Google+ is also called the “real life social network” and messenger definitely justifies the same. 😉
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