"With the Google+ project, we want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web," Google says. "But sharing is about more than just conversations. The experiences we have together are just as important to our relationships. We want to make playing games online just as fun, and just as meaningful, as playing in real life."
A spokesperson says that, generally, the technology would only be used to help identify those suspected of serious crimes, such as assault, and that in most cases disseminating photographs to the general public remains a far cheaper and more effective way of identifying people.
Started in late June, Google+ is growing faster than Facebook and MySpace Inc. did in their early days. The service, which lets people connect with and manage groups of friends on a website, gained about 25 million users worldwide in less than a month, estimates market researcher ComScore Inc.
LinkedIn's performance served as a reminder that there is at least one significant difference in the latest Internet frenzy: Some of today's online companies are making money, unlike the ones hatched in the Web's early days.
Spoonflower, which enables customers to design and print fabrics, finished in the top five of an American Express Facebook contest. That means some cash and a "makeover" plus a trip to Facebook headquarters.
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Google's new social networking site launched with much fanfare over the last week. The new service, currently in invite-only stage, has created a buzz with its novel sharing circles, hangouts and group video chat features. But how good is it?