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image from Google has finally launched its new full on challenge to Facebook, Google+.  The internet giant has stumbled with social before (remember Wave?), but any time Google speaks marketers need to pay attention.  And this time, Google got a lot of things right. Key Google+ features and impressions:

  • Google+ Stream: Google's answer to the Facebook News Feed.
  • Google+ Circles: Think of it as a Twitter List or a Facebook Friend List. 
  • Google+ Profiles: A place to add your existing Google Profile. 
  • Google+ Hangouts: Group video chat. This feature has real potential for things like artist interviews and fan meetups
  • Google+ Sparks: A built in recommendation engine that will influence things like search results.
  • Google+ Photos: Like Facebook photos with a photo editor.
  • Mobile: A basic mobile version with two unique features:
    • instant photo uploads 
    • Google+ Huddle: a group-texting feature for the Circles you create.

Impressions: Never discount Google. While this is far from a Facebook killer, Google+ will have its fans tired of Facebook privacy issues and Friend overload.  Both social sites will continue to innovate and the one who does it best may be the winner.  I'll certainly be working to add a +1 button to every site I'm involved in.

Watch the Google+ intro video: