What is Google+ (Plus)?
Google+ (plus) has become Google's answer to Facebook. If you have been under a rock and haven't quite heard yet, Google has really created a few new additions to its product line. The company launched Google Offers a few months ago which will compete with Groupon and LivingSocial. They are also adding pay for videos to YouTube so I really think Netflix is next. The most recent addition to their product line, Google+, is meant to replace Facebook.
Here are a few of the features that set the Google+ project apart:
Circles: Instead of announcing posts to everyone on Facebook, you can create different social circles so that it will be harder to accidentally tell your grandma you drank 7 shots of whiskey the night before.
Hangout: The chat option on Facebook has always been kind of awkward. In the Google plus hangout, you can let others know you are open to chatting online by visiting the hangout section.
Instant Upload: You can set it up so that all of your photos and videos upload automatically to your own private Google+ folder and then you can share the links to the photos or videos to select people. I would strongly discourage anyone to have their photos and videos automatically upload to any place on the Internet.
Sparks: With Sparks, you tell Google the things that you think you might be interested in and they will send you links to things you might want to watch or read. This is kind of similar to Google Alerts but less complicated.
Huddle: This is like a chat room. You can have a group of people meet at once. This might be able to replace Twitter parties in the future (which I've always found too complicated).
After exploring Google Plus, I think this will be more business friendly so that businesses (and their salespeople) will have a better way of communicating directly with customers. And since there is the huddle option, businesses will be able to hold chat sessions. I could see this as a way to connect customers with celebrities that may be representing their products.
I am not sure how contests can be ran yet on Google Plus but I imagine that Google will create their own contest program or link the social network program with a third party add-on.
I think Google Plus is going to be the way to connect most of Google's products together. For instance, when you sign on you are able to move people you've emailed in the past to several different groups like family, friends, following, or acquaintances. In the future, you will probably be able to click a friend to call them using Google Voice. In other words, Google Plus may become almost the only place you visit on the web. (Screenshots below)
How to Get a Google+ (Plus) Invite
This is the tough part. Google opened their program for a short period of time and then maxed out on the number of users after about 48 hours. You have to be invited to test out the Google+ Project. Here are the ways you can get an invite:
Comment Below: I have a few invites available. Comment below with why you want an invite.
Ebay: Many sellers say the invites will be delivered instantly. In all cases, you should review their feedback before purchasing anything from a seller to make sure they are legit. EBAY Google Plus Invites
From a Friend: Make an announcement on Facebook and Twitter to let everyone know you are looking for an invite.
Get on the List: There is waiting involved with this method. You can request to be notified by Google when they open Google Plus to more people. Here is the link:Google Plus Notification