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Yesterday, when I finally received my invitation to join Google+, it was at capacity. It felt like being turned away at the velvet ropes, at the doorway to something awesome. I only got a peek at all the action. Sparks, circles, hangouts — it all just seems so cool! Did Google severely underestimate the hunger our world has for the latest gadget/self-promotion venue? Or is the exclusivity just to make it look cooler?
Although Google has not released any numbers about the site just yet, one guy, Paul Allen, who coincidentally founded Ancestry.com and has his hands on many entrepreneurial projects, believes Google+ has passed ten-million users already. He did some pretty crazy math to back up his findings, and is also estimating it will reach twenty-million users by this weekend, if they start accepting us folks who got belated invites.
So what's the fuss about? Well, it seems Google+ is making strides where Facebook has only begun to cover its tracks. For instance, Google+ Circles allows you to easily control who sees what, without going into the extremely complicated privacy settings of Facebook's innards; that way you can put "your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life." Sparks is a feature that automatically curates articles, videos, and other stuff of interest, based on your tastes, and puts them all in one convenient place for enjoying "when you're free." And Hangouts, well, they're virtual places you can hang, and if someone you know is hanging, have a cyber meet-up. Google+ calls it the next best thing to teleportation.