Google+ (pronounced Google Plus and often written as "G+") is a social networking service created and operated by Google. It was in beta (and invitation-only) for much of July, 2011, but as of 2011-07-31 the home page and sign-in page showed no signs of any restriction. General public release was on or about July 31 with open access to all afterwards.
Features and Technology
Basic features of Google+ include:
- Circles in which users may organize others.
- User Profile page
- +1 Button
At its heart the service resembles a blogging or microblogging platform with a very limited (and buggy) Markdown format, in which posts may appear in other users' Streams.
Google+ has been the source of a number of controversies over its existence, including:
- "Real Names" policy and "Nymwars".
- Gender disclosure.
- Government censorship, particularly in the People's Republic of China.
- YouTube Comments / G+ integration.
- "Two Factor Authentication" and phone-number registration.
- /exodus: information kiosk for those who have left, or are planning to leave, G+ (voluntarily or otherwise)
- /management: the people who make decisions about G+ /policy
- /naming: the infamous "common name" policy, and the controversy regarding it
- /suspensions: list of users whose accounts have been suspended due to ostensible naming policy violations
- /users: small experimental database for tracking G+ users (including management)