Dubbed Google+, the service is still a bit rough around the edges but it appears to show promise. Sadly, you can experience it firsthand only through invites, so most users will have to wait for the official launch.
The user interface is intuitive and it can import all your information in various Google services with ease. This is good, as it shouldn’t take much time to set up your account and import Picasa photos. Setting up a personal profile is also pretty straightforward, nothing to brag about.
Unlike Facebook, Google+ organizes your contacts into circles and for a start it imports all of your Gmail info. The circles concept is rather interesting, as it is designed to closely mimic real life relationships. For example, it allows you to organize your friends into various groups or circles, i.e. family, work, drinking buddies etc.
One of the issues plaguing Facebook revolves around security and privacy concerns. Google intends to do things a bit differently and provide more privacy options and levels. It could have an edge over Facebook in this department, but then again Facebook could simply improve its own system to cope with the competition from Google.
Google+ is a rather interesting service and with Google behind it probably won’t fail. However, it seems rather unlikely that it will manage to unsettle Facebook as the daddy of social networking anytime soon. Speaking of time, one question comes to mind. What took Google so long?
You can check out a comprehensive preview of Google+ at PCworld.