Google just announced the Google+ project which is in beta and available to a small group of people. You will also find the application in the Android Market, but you won’t be able to do much with it unless you are one of the chosen few.
Google is looking to reinvent social networking because online sharing is awkward and broken.
The elements of the Google+ project consist of +Circles, +Sparks, +Hangouts, +Mobile, and +Huddle.
+Cirlces lets you share what matters with the people who matter most. In life we share different things with different people. Currently in the online world everybody gets grouped in and online conversations become a public performance. Sometimes you only want to connect with certain people. People already use real-life circles to share. Now you will be able to group your contacts easily within your chosen circles and interact like you normally would in real life.
+Sparks allows you to strike up a conversation about anything. Everyone has hobbies or obsessions and it is great to talk with other fans. The web has the content, but it is still hard to find and share things without a lot of work. Sparks delivers a feed of content in over 40 languages. You add your interests and there will always be something to watch, read, and share. Of course, this will be within the right circle of friends.
+Hangouts is all about stopping by to say hello face to face. We all like to hang out, whether in a pub or on the front porch, but it gets lost online. Sometimes you feel like hanging out and other times you don’t. Online communication tools do not understand this subtlety. You can ping someone and if they don’t respond quickly you wonder if they are not interested.
Hangouts combines casual meetups with live multi-person video. You can stop by when you are free and spend time with your Circles face to face.
+Mobile lets you share what’s around you. Google+ focuses on things to make your pocket computer even more personal. You can add your location to your posts if you want to. It is up to you.
Pictures are meant to be shared, so with Instant Upload you will never leave a photo behind. As you take pictures, Google+ will automatically upload them to your private album in the cloud. You will then be able to share them whenever you want with ease.
+Huddle lets you coordinate with friends and family in real-time. Sometimes communicating with several friends can be hard. Phone calls and text messaging is not suited for multiple people. Huddle is a group messaging experience that lets everyone inside the Circle know what’s going on.
This is definitely some interesting stuff, but the real question is if people will jump on board? Facebook is the biggest target with over 750 million users. I use it personally, but only because it is the “in” thing with the mainstream. Personally I think the interface is lacking, and would like something better. Will the mainstream abandon Facebook and jump on board with Google? This is definitely going to be an uphill battle. I am definitely game, but will my Circle be?
[via google blog]