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Google + Project: Android app goes live – Zuckerberg admits account as “Circles” unofficially drops on Facebook

Everybody’s talking about Google+, the new online social experience from the Mountain View co. which is set to change the approach to social networking and bring back the importance of our relationships through the World Wide Web. There’s been massive interest in the new kid on the social block from the word “Go” and the beta of the service was by invite only (or finding a way to “jump the fence” as it were), until Google halted the process due to “insane demand“. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is onboard with the new social fad which could lay the smack down on his own creation. But we’ll get to that in a bit..

Firstly, where would a social network be without the pocket appeal? We’re on the move a lot of our lives. So logically, there’s got to be a mobile application – and here it is. The Google+ app is now available through the Android Market. You’ll still need an account registered to use it (we’re still waiting on our invite!) and the app recognizes you from your Googlemail account on your phone. A Google employee has also confirmed that a Google+ app for iPhone is currently under review with Apple, via her personal Google+ page.

Many of those features we detailed in our Google+ launch article (readable HERE) are in the app – including Profile, Circles, Huddle as well as Photos and Stream. Stream acts as what most of us social networkers would know better as a News Feed, but this is divided into “Incoming” – content shared by your followers – and “Nearby” – location based and relevant content.

Who you share with is chosen by you with those all important +Circles. Your friends are organised into priority and importance and can be messaged as a group and included into +Huddle conversations in a real-time chat forum – which kind of resembles (and may in fact replace) Google Talk. Photos can be taken and shared through the Google+ app and you can share your thoughts as a “status” type update – it’s very hard not to use Facebook similes. But this clearly isn’t Facebook.

That’s not to say Facebook isn’t taking a lot of interest in what Google’s social web is up to. The Social Network’s creator Mark Zuckerberg is already signed up, as are a number of Facebook employees – noticeable in The Zuck’s exclusive +Circles. In fact, it’s reported that Zuckerberg is more in demand than Google’s own co-founder Larry Page on the Google+ site proving everybody wants to +Hangout with the Z-Man!

There is some doubt that the Mark Zuckerberg account is real, with only a grainy phone image as credential – but with invites to Google+ so exclusive and so elusive who would waste one by posing as The Zuck? Facebook’s founder has suggested that it’s possible it is the real deal, saying “Why are people so surprised that I’d have a Google account?”

Finishing on the Facebook theme, it seems some application developers have invented an unofficial way for those of us not lucky enough to get the VIP treatment to enjoy the +Circles experience without being on the Google+ guestlist. The “Circle Hack” for Facebook is suggested to work in a similar fashion, organising our friend lists into importance through a third-party javascript plug-in.

With Zuck and pals on the inside, maybe something official will be inspired by this bootleg and along with a possible Skype integration (to be announced this week?) Facebook could restore its tarnished appeal and save some of its 600 million active users from the inevitable exodus to Google+.

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