If you haven’t heard already, the big news in the internet world is that the mighty Google is releasing their answer to Facebook.  "Google +" (Google PLUS or the Google+ Project) it is deemed and it is a conglomeration of a variety of social networking tools. Upon a glance, it seems that Google is attempting to redefine the future of social media and quite possibly SEO.

"Google +" vs "Google +1"
We caught a glimpse of a similarly named product called "Google +1" which is basically a way of "liking" a page very much in a way you can like a page or site with Facebook.  This however, shows up directly in your searches when you are logged in to your Google account.  The new Google+ Project is NOT that… well,  not necessarily.  +1 is perhaps the introduction and a very small part of the overall product. 
The interesting thing is the tools are similar to the innovations of Facebook but I will go out on a limb and say that they are more intuitive and easier to understand.  And of course, that is what Google is known for, taking an idea and converting it into an easier interface with extra functionality and more accessibility.  If you look historically, the Google search engine itself, Google Docs, Buzz, and a variety of other products originated elsewhere but Google made it faster and (in some cases) better.  The PLUS project seems to follow this trend.

Google + Features = ?
I’m not sure I’m going get used to writing "Google +" as this looks like the beginning of a formula.  At any rate, as a whole this product seems very robust and appeals to different areas of social media.  The features are as follows:

Circles
This appears to be the central product for the Plus Project and focuses on building groups of friends. It’s a great name for the product because even in everyday, colloquial language, you refer to your "circle of friends" or your "inner circle", etc. Google’s Circles allows you to build groups or quite literally "circles" and select which users you want to share specific bits of information with. While Facebook has a similar group function, this has a unique graphic interface and appears to be a bit more intuitive. See the video below:

Sparks
This is the interests hub and you can collect snippets from articles or videos and display them for your perusal. See the video below:

Hangouts
Remember the days online chat rooms? Well now it’s back and they’ve integrated video. See the video below:

Huddle
Like a private IM chat feature for groups. Basically a pre-made group invitation in chat. See the video below:

This new frame work is very robust with features. How will it hold to the scrutiny of millions of Facebook users? Time will tell.

A great assessment of the features through Tech Crunch’s article here.

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