Google has yet again ventured into the online social networking game with a "project" it's calling Google+. Google is hoping its third time into the social networking arena is lucky and that the new service (with the snazzy plus sign) will fare better than past programs Google Buzz and Orkut.
Google+ hopes to distinguish itself from Facebook by changing the way information is shared online. Instead of having one outlet where everything is shared for all to see, Google+ is designed around "Circles" that allow users to group their online friends. For instance, you may create a group of college friends, another with parents, or a group of co-workers. Google says the service will allow people to "share what matters, with the people who matter most." It's also a means your mom or your boss won't see what mischief you got up to on a Saturday night.
The new service contains other features such as "Sparks," a way to discover timely online content and share it with your friends. Users plug in their interests and then receive "something cool" related to the specific topic, including news, videos, and other content.
If you want to digitally hangout with your friends, then you can with "Hangout." This service allows you to see who's online and gives you the option of some face-to-face time by video chatting with them. Google says Google+ makes "on-screen gatherings fun, fluid, and serendipitous." The service also has a feature called "Huddle," which is "a group messaging experience that lets everyone inside the circle know what's going on, right this second" and is perfect for planning a group get-together.
Google+ is also designed to make "your pocket computer even more personal." You can add your location to any post (or not). You can also instantly upload every picture taken with your smartphone to a Google cloud enabling you to share it across devices.
Google+ is only in the beginning stages and Google is at pains to point out it has "rough edges." The service is currently available only by invitation.
Do you think Google+ could be the Facebook killer?