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December 7, 2012

Google+ Announces 500M Users, Launches Google+ Communitie

Google+ is growing.

Google+ announced Dec. 6 that 500 million people have created profiles on the site.

Also, 235 million people have used at least one of its features (like +1’ing a webpage), and 135 million visit monthly — an increase of 35 million since September.

As the social networking site becomes a more popular Web destination, the Google+ team is offering a new feature to encourage even more people to become regular users.

Google+ Communities, which will integrate group functions into the social media site, debuted on the site Dec. 6.

“Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people,” reads a blog post by Vic Gundotra, senior-vice president, engineering.

“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 way out there. With Google+ Communities there’s now a gathering place for your passions.”

Communities allows users to share files, photos and calendars. It also gives users the ability to notify everyone in the group by sending a single message.

The following are community examples:

• 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.

“To give it a try just click on the new ‘Communities’ icon (rolling out today), then create or join your favorite community,” Gundotra said. “It’s only a preview, and mobile’s coming soon, so we’re keen to get your feedback.”

For more information, check out the Google+ Communities video.