Google has launched its own social network in an attempt to take on Facebook, as well as tie together its existing services like Gmail and Google Chat.
Google+ is only presently available to a limited number of users (though you can sign up for an invite here) but demos show it bears a strong resemblance to Facebook, with profile pictures and a central page featuring comments, pictures and links shared by friends.
If you've noticed the new black bar across the top of Google's homepage, you'll have seen where you'll be able to access Google + once you're signed up.
The Google+ Project: a quick look
What looks particularly interesting is the 'Circles' feature; Google +'s way of allowing users to separate friends into specific groups rather than having one big pool like on Facebook or MySpace.
Another feature is called 'Sparks'. 'Sparks' is all about giving people the ability to curate and share interesting content with like-minded people. It relies on a lot of use of Google's +1 button, which is still yet to really take of.
If all of that sounds interesting, have a play with Google +'s excellent demo or have a read of this very thorough Wired article on the processes and aims behind the building of Google Plus.
One final thought, though Google+ sounds very interesting, do we really want to give more personal info to a company that already knows what we search for & email?