Why and how following a Google+ Collection gives you only posts that you want to see
Reposted from a Jan 2016 post:
I see there is still a lot of confusion around following a Profile vs a Collection vs a Community on Google+. The key advantage to following just a Collection, is that you only see posts in your steam that relate to that topic that the Collection deals with eg. just cat photos, just tech news, just green technology, just yellow flowers, etc. A Collection is a place where just the owner posts on a particular topic. You cannot post there, but you can usually comment, reshare and respond on any posts.
Whereas following someone's Profile (will show every single public post in your stream that the persons posts. This has little focus but you may be interested in everything they post, or it could be a family member or friend where you want to see everything.
A Community is a shared area where the owner, as well as members of that Community, can make posts. It could be a public or private Community, depending on what the owner has set for it. Communities can have additional admins managing them, as well as filtered areas of interest. You can also switch notifications on/off (where you get alerted via an e-mail) or opt to have their posts show up, or not, in your stream.
But back to Collections.... the point is if someone posts a lot about various topics and not all of those topics interest you, but you do have a real interest in one or two topics that they post about, then go to their Profile on Google+ and check whether Collections show up.
You can follow the screenshot below to see how you would unfollow their main Profile, and then just click on a Collection or two which interests you. Believe me this makes your Google+ experience far more relevant, pleasant and focussed. You do NOT have to unfollow the main Profile, unless you only want to follow a Collection without seeing any public Profile posts. If you unfollow a Collection or two, those specific Collections will no longer appear in your stream.
So there are two main scenarios now for Collection filtering:
1. Follow just a Collection - Public Profile is unfollowed, Collection to follow is followed (or more than one).
2. Follow all posts except a specific Collection - Public Profile is followed, only specific Collection is unfollowed (maybe it is a topic that you really don't want to see, or more than one could be selected to be unfollowed). Click on "VIEW ALL" and click on "FOLLOWING" below the individal Collection/s you'd like to unfollow.
The advantage of option 2 above is that you will still see all general Public posts, and by default would see posts for any new Collections that the person creates. But for some people who are highly focussed, option 1 could still be their best bet where they only ever see the posts made in that Collection or two that they have selected. It certainly does give a lot of granular control to followers.
You can also get a good idea of the really interesting Collections that can be found on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/collections/featured. Remember that Google+' s real niche lies around interests and hobbies. This is where excels. Although it can do plain social media too, many people may opt to use Facebook for family and friendship based socialising, and Twitter for breaking news. An example is that I post the same posts across Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Tumblr and whilst I get 100 +1's and say 50 comments on a post on Google+ I rarely get more than one or two Likes on Facebook or one or two reshares.
I hope this short explanation will give you a more enjoyable and cleaner experience on Google+