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Google+ Hashtags and Your Privacy...
Shhhh! Google+ CAN keep a Secret, Twitter can't

I recently published an overview on how to use #Hashtags inside Google+, here's the link for reference: https://plus.google.com/108210288375340023376/posts/focQkGJGgg9

Certain conversations stemming from that post brought up Some Very Important Discoveries re. Google+ Hashtags and Google+ Privacy.

We did some testing and found that using Hashtags in a post that was published to a private group (i.e. a 'limited' post) did not threaten that post's privacy level. If you were not part of the private or limited group, you would not find the 'private post' via a Google+ search for the hashtag.

That makes sense as you would not want your private posts being discovered by random people on Google+ that happen to be searching for various hashtags. Or said another way, Using Google Search with Hashtags, does Not Circumvent the Limited Post Privacy Veil.

We also verified that as you can "open up a private post" for viewing to those you +mention in the comments of the post, you will likewise open up the ability for those 'new invited members' to find the private post via a Google+ Hashtag search.

So If you are using Google+ and its powerful Hashtag feature, You do not need to fear any privacy issues stemming from hashtags! Too bad we can't say that for Twitter and their Recent Privacy Concerns!

O #googleplustips #googleplushashtags #privacy #twitter O
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Ronnie Bincer's profile photoEric Rudd's profile photoAnn Brady's profile photoPaul Gailey Alburquerque's profile photo
11 comments
 
a twitter hashtag will expose the content to any searcher and public user, except where the tweet is owned by a protected account and the searcher is not authorised to view the protected acount. Because in practice, protected accounts are very rare on twitter, a hashtag is common practice of widening the theoretical reach of a tweet.

There is no true like for like with Twitter of this function from G+ because you cannot tweet exclusively to a subset of users, lists or followers.
 
+Paul Gailey Alburquerque so here is an example were Google+ will allow you to talk to your special customers or your specific team members in a 'private environment'... and use the helpful nature of a hashtag to help organize and discover again - at a later time - the content in question.

Great for TEAM communication!
 
My problem is to tag people who has a name with a non azerty/quercy letters for keybord (greek, russian, etc). What is that there is a solution ?
 
+Jean-Marc Luna I use the Chrome Extension "Replies and More" which helps me easily reply to someone and Mention them without having to type their name... great for characters that I don't normally type.
 
+Ron Sela FYI, the Hashtags in the comments have been having difficulty showing up in G+ Search results lately, try searching for them without the # symbol and they still do show up.
 
+Ronnie Bincer you are the MASTER!!!  Thank you so much for this last point!  I would like a better way to find what I post but so far I have been experimenting with hash-tags and though I don't post often I felt more comfortable the first time I tried it.  Then I got to a point where some were not working and now none.  UNTIL!!!

I have found all of my posts again!  Thank YOU!

#cc_kc78951whereismypost486153_956254  
 
Thanks!  Just what I was wondering.
 
+Ronnie Bincer, is there a way to limit a hashtag search to a specific community? I am in a photography group and I might like to search for a specific film type, but only want to see posts from those members in the group. Thanks!
 
+Eric Rudd I think the best way is to search within the community via the "Search community" area, but I hear that it does not always work properly re. hashtags... right +Paul Simbeck-Hampson?
 
Eric, you can search using the search box in communities, above the categories. Currently hashtags in post content are being found, but not in comments, nor are keywords in comments. As it seems today, comments are not included at all within the community search. Read below for some background and details of the test I've just made.

This was my feature request back in July 2013. https://plus.google.com/+PaulSimbeckHampson/posts/ARMZBoBR5yb - Interesting is the last comment, where I tested the feature and although hashtags were not being found in comments via a community search, when you searched without the hashtag the keyword was being found in comments.

A couple of the Google Team liked the suggestion +Brian Glick and +Natalie Villalobos and +Shimrit Ben-Yair pinged +Danielle Buckley - I was hoping that by now this would have been fixed/updated. As it looks as of today, it hasn't.

I've just done a test on the Social Business community and found that neither a keyword or the same corresponding hashtag is being found in comments. That is, search is only finding 'post content' with the keyword (with or without the hashtag), but no posts are being returned with the keyword (or hashtag) in comments, either on my own posts, or someone else's. This seems like a step backwards, as before it was finding the keyword in comments, albeit without the hashtag.

In this post for example, I've just added "rec and #rec " to a comment. When I use the community search for both examples the post is not found. https://plus.google.com/u/0/112717356760836886583/posts/MLXstrp3Nye

I should also note, that search is finding content in comments that are outside of communities.

Hoping the Google 'Communities' Team can open this feature request again, it would (still) be very useful. Hope that helps +Eric Rudd - and thanks for the ping +Ronnie Bincer

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UPDATE I thought I would do a check on another community and this time the keyword was found in the comment. Mmm... more testing... will update again soon... 

I added #rec  and rec to this post in a Cloud computing community - see this post: https://plus.google.com/110663528027681454336/posts/5auaDWYXJRc - when I search in the community for rec, it finds the post - but not if I add a hashtag... back to check the SB community which wasn't showing the post in search doing the same test...

If I search for rec in SB community this post is not found, but the last comment contains the word rec. I can't explain why it works on the Cloud computing community but not the SB community. (I did flick between Best posts and Most recent - just fyi)
https://plus.google.com/112717356760836886583/posts/MLXstrp3Nye

Could it be do with recency? The SB post was back in August, with the Cloud computing post being today? As I say, can't establish a pattern. But it's been fun trying!! Hope we can a solution/answer to this issue. cc/ +Vic Gundotra 
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