Google’s not missing a beat pushing Google+ these days with the release of “Communities,” and some numbers on the social networks activity. In fact, Google is calling their social network the “fastest-growing network thingy ever” with more than 500 million people upgrading. That provides Google+ with 235 million active members +1′ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in search, etc. Google says 135 million users are active in just the stream, though just how active everyone is remains unknown.
The enthusiasm for Google+ is leading the company to introduce Google+ Communities, to “help bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software.”
From photography to astronomy (and everything in between), Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people. What’s been missing, however, are more permanent homes for all the stuff you love: the wonderful, the weird, and yes, even the things that are waaay out there. With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions, including:
- Public or private membership to support all kinds of groups—from topics and interests to local neighborhoods to regular poker nights
- Discussion categories to find the conversations you care about most
- The option to start hangouts and plan events with community members
- The ability to share with your community from any +1 button across the web
The “Communities” icon will begin rolling out today, with mobile compatibility arriving soon.