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When I want to see updates of a friend in Google Plus, I currently have to go to his home page to see them - while in facebook, what I need to do is to add him/her to my Close Friend list.
Is there a similar feature in Google Plus?
Pretty much similar, yes. You could easily add your friend to a circle.
Click on that circle, and set the slider in the top right corner to Show all posts from [circle name] on your start page.
Then, all posts from friends you have added to the circle will show up in your start page stream.
Required, but never shown