I am +Mike Corbett. I joined the site roughly a month ago, it may be a week later than a month, it really doesn't matter. This is somewhat of a month long usage write up. Something for user to read and see and understand exactly what it is.
Google+ is the answer to a few different social networks, over the month I have found it to replace twitter and Facebook in many different ways, my Twitter friends easily moved over, most of them either readers of this site or android users. Whatever the case may be, they easily moved as it was an obvious transition. I have heard many times that Google+ could over take Twitter rather than Facebook and I believe it. My Twitter friends find themselves communicating even more than they did on Twitter and with more like minded people. My Facebook friends find it harder to move, they are stuck in their ways, however, when they get here they like it. My wife for instance is finding it to be quite amazing. She is finding writers of web comics and artists really easily, they are actually finding her!
Circles are like Facebook groups in a way, you are able to put friends in circles and only they see what you post if you allow them to,
there are of course three big options "Public", "Your Circles", and "Extended Circles". Public is everyone, if I post it and it is Public, everyone will see it, this includes the entire web. Your Circles is... well all your circles. Extended Circles is friends of friends. I personally have quite a few friends, it changes daily as I find new people with similar interests through friends. I use circles for anything from posting wrestling quotes and shows to a certain crowd to seeing what photographers have done what.
Probably one of the biggest features of the site is the hangout. So many people like it and use it. I have met a numerous amount of people because of it as well. I am a huge fan of Google+ Hangouts and like so many people. I even have a hangouts circle for those who I want to hangout with again. Hangouts are a 10 person video chat, I have chatted with anyone from +Mark Hoppus of blink-182 to the hangouts team on Google+. It opens up to so much. Many people ask, why oh why didn't they allow for a 20 person chat? The easy answer that I heard from the Google+ Hangouts team leads is this, 5 people doesn't always get a conversation going continuously, 15 people create noise, 10 people though is a pretty perfect group and they test the theory a bunch of times. I personally have been in roughly 30 hangouts, usually nightly and I plan to be in more when the AndroidHeadlines business page comes to fruition over the next month or so.
This is where you say what's up? This is where you choose who to send things to! As you can see there is a photo button, a video button, a link button and a places button. The photo button is one of my favorites, there is an option to instant upload all the photos you take from your android phone. Video works the same way. All photos get resized to 2084 x 2084 and that makes them go under the rader for Picasa which will soon become Google Photos it keeps your limit at 1gb with out using any space. Video is the same if it is under 15 minutes. Links of course make it so link sharing is easier, post a link and it works. Places let's you check-in.
Your profile is just a profile like any other. It allows people to see who you are! People can see your posts, an about your page, your shared photos, your shared videos, the things you have +1'd and... Your Google Buzz? Sure why not. There is also a profile pic in there and a link to email you, if you want them to! The cool part is that anyone can see anything you want or don't want them to! And this applies to most areas, stuff from pictures, to who can see who you follow!
The Plus Bar
This is the new stable of all Google services. It lets you get to all the newly redesigned services. As you can see they are all there, the only thing that haven't changed much are Reader and Photos, but they will in time. You can share what you are thinking if you are not on Google+ but browsing things like Docs. You can also see your notifications from here, this is the one that gets the most people in the most trouble, it kills workflow as I have found. Many others have said this as well. Friends who write code and websites and books all were stuck for that first month. They were attracted to the little red button that tells them when they get an update! I still get excited when I see it! This is a great redesign for Google!
I am a big fan of this site, they have really solid features and it keeps me coming back, I find myself using Twitter less and less, Facebook is a place for family, not friends now, and I am trying to get my family to G+, I have already achieved doing so with two members, the rest are interested. I am loving the site and Business Profiles are coming soon. We will have one. I want to invite more of you in, so here is a link that gives you a chance to join, it has a 150 invites, I think our editor will be adding his link soon as well.