Google Plus is a new social networking site launched by some little start-up that nobody has ever heard of. Oh wait - no; it's a grand, bold launch by everyone's favourite search engine.
Realising that Facebook was ridiculously popular, but with some huge problems, mixed with a certain "We can do better than that", Google launched their new service on June 28, 2011, using the same invite-only approach they took when they first launched Gmail back in 2004.
Google+ integrates several popular Google services, including Google Buzz and Google Profiles. Plus also integrates the "+1" button, visible in all search results, and integrate-able into websites and blogs, encouraging users to share their favourite sites with their Google Plus followers.
Tackling Facebook's 0.75 billion user-base head-on, Google+ certainly have their work cut out for them. In order to take on the world's favourite social network, Google introduces a series of new features:
Circles enable users to organise contacts into groups for sharing across various Google products and services. Although other users can view a list of people in a user's collection of circles, they cannot view the names of those circles. The privacy settings also allows users to hide the users in their circles as well as who has them in their circle. Organisation is done through a drag-and-drop interface. This system replaces the typical friends list function used by sites such as Facebook.
Huddle is a feature available to Android, iPhone, and SMS devices for communicating through instant messaging within circles - not entirely unlike chatrooms on IRC.
Hangouts are places used to facilitate group video chat with a maximum of 10 people participating in a single Hangout.
And finally, Sparks is a front-end to Google Search, enabling user to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others; "featured interests" sparks are also available, based on topics others globally are finding interesting.
The Everything2 Google Plus users repository
Do you want to talk to other E2-ians on Google Plus? Simply add your G+ url and username here: http://kamps.org/e2-google/. Let the party commence!
Oh, and there's a Google+ Registry right here on E2, too! Nifty stuff.