google+ social networkWhat is Google+?  Simply put, it’s Google’s answer to facebook and has quickly become the hottest new social network.  In just three weeks, Google+ has accumulated more than 10 million users and over 1 billion bits of content are shared daily via this new kid on the virtual block.  While Google+ is most popular among early technology adopters and “techy” type users, regular Joe’s, marketers and businesses around the world are showing interest.

But you’ve gotta want it.  Unlike its predecessor, Facebook, Google+ is a little trickier to understand and is full of nuances that make mastering this social network much more challenging.  However, many will argue that the juice is worth the squeeze.  Along with the steeper learning curve, comes a plethora of features that make Google+ a standout in the social network space.

Google+ is a collaboration of various social products including Stream (newsfeed), Sparks (recommendations), Hangouts (for video chatting), Huddle (for group texting), Circles (for organizing friends) and Photos.  This collection of products is rumored to be just the beginning of a much larger group of applications which will include Games and much more.

But the feature we believe will truly give Facebook a run for its money is Circles. The biggest complaint Facebook users have is separating their social life from their professional life. Google has hit that challenge head on. With Google Circles, you can put people in categories, such as family, work, or clients. Then when you write a message, you can choose which of those categories sees that message. This is big and could result in a major migration. But you can bet Facebook will have their own response to this new feature soon – so stay tuned!

So where did Google+ get its name?  According to Mashable, “Google chose the name Google+ because it wants Google+ to be an extension of Google itself.”  Since it was designed to be an upgrade to all of Google, the company changed the Google navigation bar which now includes a link to the user’s Google+ profile.

Do you have a Google+ profile yet?  For now, you may have to wait.  Google+ is still in its beta version and is only available for limited release.  You currently still need an invitation from a current member to join the network.  You may want to ask a friend to send an invitation to your Gmail account because you must use a Gmail account to sign up for this newest social network.

As more and more individuals become part of this quickly growing social network, early adopters are doing all they can to learn the ins and outs of Google+.  Mashable excitedly stumbled across a Google+ cheat sheet which includes some of the most common syntax, hotkeys and tips users need in order to become an expert at using Google+.  Luckily for us, Mashable has made the cheetsheat, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages already, accessible to its readers.  Click here to take a look at this helpful Google+ guide.

Enjoy getting to know Google+ and feel free to give us your feedback.