2011 is heating up to be one of the busiest years in social media history. Earlier this year LinkedIn was buzzing with its IPO launch. Then we heard that Facebook and Groupon decided it was also time to explore the possibility of an IPO launch. MySpace gets sold to Justin Timberlake and Specific Media for $35 Mil. And now, Google wants to make a run at Facebook’s #1 spot in social networking .

In case you haven’t heard about Google’s new launch, it’s called Google Plus (or Google +). It’s a new way to stay socially connected to your friends, family and coworkers all at the same time but in “different circles.” Here’s how it works:

Google Plus is broken down into five categories: Circles, Hangouts, Instant Uploads, Sparks and Huddle.

Circles- This Google Plus tab allows you to share information with people you know in three subcategories: friends, family and workers. For example, you drag photo icons of your six best friends into a circle and then you can socially interact with them from that circle. The same goes for family and workers. I guess you could say it’s the circle of life!

Hangouts- This is another form of a chat room for your circles of friends. If they see you hanging out in this area they can join you for a chat. I had a chuckle when I read Google’s comment about Hangouts: “Until teleportation arrives, it’s the next best thing.”

Instant Upload- This is a nice new feature that allows you to connect your smartphone to your computer and instantly upload your photos or videos directly to your Google Plus account. I’m sure there will be some special additions and promotions for Google’s smartphones linking to this new area as well.

Sparks- This is basically a keyword search engine that will find you information and images of things pertaining to your subject.

Huddle- This is another form of a group text chat, but streamlined. Plus, it looks like it will connect to your phone so you can call your friends and family right away.

Google is definitely trying many creative ways to get into the social networking field and I like their thinking. Plus, competition for Facebook is a good thing.

If you’d like to learn more about Google Plus, here’s a link to their slideshow.

After you review it, let me know your thoughts. Will it succeed? Will you give it a try? Let us know.

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