This weekend I set up a Google+ account. It could be the new-social-networking honeymoon period, but so far I really like how it’s set up. Google+’s “stream” is basically just like Facebook and Twitter, except you can control what you see and who sees what you say via the “Circles.” Circles are basically just friend groups. You can control who sees everything you post whether it’s your profile to your cat photos. I wonder if the exclusivity of these circles will cause drama when online friends realize that their other friends are withholding stuff from them 😛

Right now it’s still in beta, but the interface is nice and clean looking. Judging by Google’s track record it seems more likely to stay that way instead of getting cluttered up like Facebook. Also unlike Facebook and Twitter, everything you post can be edited after the fact, and if you decided to delete your account you can also download everything that’s there before leaving. XKCD had a comic that succinctly summed up a lot of the appeal.

The other big feature are “hangouts” which is video chat for up to 10 people. Of course you can do it without a webcam too. Part of that feature is the ability to watch YouTube videos together. Right now you can only do it by searching videos, but if Google gets it together and allows tighter integration with YouTube, this feature could easily be used for business.

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