Google launches Google+ communities, crosses 500 million users

Google has added a new feature to its growing social network Google+ called Google+ Communities. The feature is in many ways similar to Facebook Groups, which allows users to join groups filled with random people but with common interests.

Google+ Communities will support public and private memberships and users can have a wide range of categories for conversations. Community members will also be able to start Google+ Hangouts amongst themselves and users will have the ability share content via the +1 button from across the web with fellow community members.

Google claims it has over 500 million users for Google+. Of these, 235 million are active across a number of Google products while 135 million are active in the Google+ stream on a monthly basis.

All this makes, Google+ the fastest growing social network in the world, but it is still far behind Facebook when it comes to number of users. But Google is not striving to compete with Facebook head-on but is rather using Google+ as a tool that intertwines Google’s entire product line-up for a single user. This way it also gains more user data that in turn improves its search and ads businesses.