Google's attempts at creating a viable social-networking site have thus far made the tech giant look like a seventy-year-old man wearing baggy jeans and a backwards baseball cap. But that hasn't stopped the Big G from trying, and this morning Google announced their latest social-media effort. Its name is "Google+," and it is here to change the way you view heavily focus-grouped online inter-community social-media constructs.
The main draw of Google+ is its privacy settings, which will allow you to choose who you share every piece of information with at all times. (It's social networking for the tremblingly paranoid.) Google+ will be constructed around a series of user-created social circles, and you'll be able to select specific circles for each status update, link, and photo album you share. Google+ appears to be modeled on a general template of exclusion (who can see your information) rather than inclusion (what got Facebook in trouble: who can't see your information).
If sharing photos, statuses, and links with only a select number of your friends sounds a lot like another Google service ("email"), well, it is, a little bit; that is, until you see the screenshot of the Google+ front page, at which point it begins to resemble something else. Tell us if this looks similar to any other social-networking site you use:
"What's up, Bike Geeks? I'm biking!"
Google+, which will also feature group video chat and mobile messaging, isn't available quite yet, but you can go to the Google+ homepage to sign up for a notification when it launches. Until then: count your money, Zuckerberg! Google+ is in town.