Google+, the new social network seems to be catching on. The user experience, interface and functionality are familiar for all Twitter and Facebook users and the adoption for the first round of test users appears to be complete.

How many users are on Google+?

Currently there are over 120,000 indexed pages from Google+ and majority of them appear to be user profiles.
3 July update: 252,000 results, however content seems to be indexed as well.

Media Coverage

Sun Times: MySpace is dead . . . long live Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.

Google+ contributor and Mac pioneer talks with CNET (Q&A)

CNN: Review: Google+ a clean, intuitive mobile experience so far

PC Mag: Is Mark Zuckerberg in Your Google+ Circle?,2817,2387964,00.asp

Google’s Word

Google’s official introduction page for Google+ is here:

Google+: Google’s new social networking alternative

Google+ is Google’s newest, and perhaps strongest, attempt at rivaling Facebook when it comes to social networking. The basics of Google+ look familiar, it takes the best qualities currently contained in the Facebook and Twitter platforms and adds to them by attempting to fix their flaws or filling them out with Google’s current products.

The Stream is Google+’s version of Facebook’s wall. Links, pictures, text posts, videos, and whatever mental blurbs you feel like spitting out will all appear on the stream. Either to your specific circle of friends, everyone, or the individual friend you decide to send it too. Like Twitter or Facebook you can quickly mention someone in a post to really draw their attention to it.

Circles is the other important app, and a basic component of most social networking platforms. With circles you can sort and group your friends into different Circles. One for your family, one for your co-workers, and once for your knitting club or weekly fishing group. However you want to sort and manage what content your friends do and don’t see is up to you. This is also one of Google+’s large improvements over what Facebook currently has. Though it’s always been possible to limit what different friends see on your Facebook wall and profile it’s never been as easy or as simple as Google+’s Circles make it.

Hangouts are another important component of Google+. Think of it as Facebook chat and Skype video chat rolled together into one conversation ball. By starting a Hangout you can broadcast to all of your friends that you’re looking to hangout and chat. Then they’re free to join you, or you can invite them in, and you can all video chat and text chat with each other within Google+. Google has also incorporated Youtube into Hangouts, they’ve reported that you can easily watch Youtube videos together in your Hangouts chat.

Sparks is a feature that is sort of like an automatic Google search engine just for you. Google will take your interests and return to your Stream with the latest news, articles, and videos of your interests and hobbies, allowing you to start a conversation with all of your friends on the things your interested in.

Finally, the biggest difference Google+ seems to have, and the thing that may pull people away from Facebook, is privacy. Unlike Facebook Google+ will allow you to delete your account if you want to and will give you the option to first download all of your videos and pictures first. Facebook only allows users to disable an account, saving all of their information onto Facebook’s servers.

Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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