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This is why you need Google Spaces

Mike Elgan | May 24, 2016
Google's newest social app is called Google Spaces. Here's why you should use it, and how.

The other view is your Activity stream, which is like your own private Twitter. In the desktop version, it appears on the right side of your screen. In the mobile version, the Activity stream auto-refreshes without any action on your part. In the desktop version, you have to click the refresh button, which is a round arrow above the stream.

Spaces is not a social network. Nobody can follow you as a person, and you can't follow other people. You have to invite people from outside Spaces.

This absence of social following highlights one of the benefits of Spaces: You don't "post" something and hope the members of a social network find it or mark it as “liked.” You're not in some ego-driven competition for followers. It's not about creating viral content, because there's no place for your content to go.

Also: There are no celebrities, trolling, shaming, uninvited participants or any of the other annoying features of major social sites, including and especially Twitter.

To invite people to chat, click on the INVITE link at the top of both the desktop and mobile versions. The options you'll get are "Copy link," "Email" and "Facebook." (That's right! Facebook is a sharing option but Google+ is not!)

The "Copy link" option is how you share on literally any social network, messaging app or any other medium that conveys text. For example, I've created a space exclusively for readers of this column, which will be posted nowhere but right here. (This space is not for comments about the column itself; it's for you to try Spaces out. Please post comments about this column below.)

To post a comment, simply click on the "Share something in this space" item, choosing the link icon, photo icon or text icon, depending on what you intend to post.

Those are the basics of Google Spaces. Now let's get into the pro tips for really taking advantage of this new medium.

Use the mobile Spaces app as a search app and YouTube client

You probably launch Google searches from your phone using either your mobile browser or the Google app. You probably watch YouTube using the YouTube app. Stop using those apps and start using the Spaces app instead.

The big blue Spaces button in the center of the bottom of the Spaces mobile app brings you to a Google Search page. It's just like the Google Search app, but when you tap through to the result, you'll find that blue Spaces icon, which is now on the bottom right. By tapping on it, you're given the option to share the page with any of your spaces, or to create a new space.


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