Google has launched a new social networking service, called Google+. It’s been running in beta since late June and its now open to everyone over the age of 18.
In essence, it’s a place to connect, listen and share stuff with others.
It works much like Twitter, but without the 140-character restriction or the need for compressed URLs. It also draws heavily on some of Facebook’s better features: sharing links you like with one-click, controlling who sees what in your stream, built-in messaging and photo streaming.
The most obvious thing you’ll notice is that it’s already immensely popular with thought leaders in social media. So there’s far less clutter and more content that’s focused, purposeful and authentic.
These are early days for this service, but already it’s showing some muscle. Here’s what Chris Brogan had to say in Entrepreneur Magazine: “In its earliest weeks of existence, it already was sending more traffic to my website than any other social networking platform.”
Here’s how you join.
If you already have a Gmail account with Google, you can simply enable Google+ in the nav bar that appears at the top of the screen when you sign in to Gmail’s web client.
If you don’t already have a Google Account, you can create one here.
Important: Google’s user agreement is fussy about authenticity. You need to sign up using your full name, not an anonymous online handle.