There must be a ton of money in social media. Why else would Google (whom I've blogged about a lot lately, it seems) create a direct competitor to Facebook?
The service is called Google+ and it attempts to improve upon Facebook with the idea of "Circles". The idea is a pretty good one, in my opinion. While Facebook lumps all of your "friends" into a single category, Google+ allows you to have "circles" composed of work contacts, true friends, family, etc. This allows you to send info to some circles and not to others. This allows you to have better control over your privacy... well if you'd prefer that your boss not see those pictures.
There is also "Hangouts" which allow for multi-person video chats with members of your Circle.
Then there is "Huddle" which seems to be designed for mobility and group messaging. The idea seems to be a way to let people know where you are going to be by sending group messages, a little like Twitter, it seems to me.
Google+ is not yet available to the public, but those with accounts can now send email invitations to friends. I'd love to give this a try. If you have an invite to give away, send it to me?