The Google+ project is one of the newest forms of social media to date. It allows users to combine all of the regular aspects of Google with those of a social networking site. The creators of Google+ launched the website on June 28, 2011 as a trial or “field test” phase. This allowed a small number of users to create accounts and try out Google+ for themselves. These new users were also asked to invite some of their friends to join the site as well. By July 14, 2011, the site announced that it had 10 million users. Some say that this new site may rival that of other social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace, but from what I have seen of Google+, I personally believe that it falls somewhere between Facebook and LinkedIn.
Google+ allows you to separate and categorize your friends into different circles or groups based on your relationship with them. For example, you can have a circle of your closest friends and separate them from colleagues and the people you work with professionally. Google+ says that it has this feature because they are aiming to make online interaction with others more like socializing in the real world. For instance, you wouldn’t necessarily share the same kinds of information or new with your family or close as you do with your coworkers or colleagues. Google+ also merges other aspects of the regular Google search engine such as Google Places, Google Buzz and more with individual profiles and new features like circles, hangouts, sparks and huddles.
Since this new site is only in its beginning stages and has been flooded with more interested users than originally expected, it has essentially wait-listed any new users who wish to join the site. This could be because they are trying to work out any kinks or design flaws that have been encountered or because they want to take their time expanding. Either way, the Google+ project is something I predict will catch on with many more users and turn into something that we all use everyday just like Facebook and Twitter.