Welp, here goes. Google just opened fire on Facebook, Skype and who knows who else. The company has tried for years to properly get into the social networking field, and it has become somewhat of a running joke at this point. There's Wave, Buzz, and lots of other dead Google dreams, but the Google+ Project may be the one that finally takes off in a major way. It's a new service that's launching this week in the form of a limited field trial. If you don't have an invite yet, either ping someone that has one, or just wait patiently.
It'll contain profiles, circles, sparks, photos, hangouts, sparks, and who knows what else. Basically, this is a monumental effort to coordinate your Google contacts (and beyond) and place them into silos where you only share certain content with certain silos. It's great in theory, but we can hear the privacy advocates breaking down the walls in Mountain View already.
Google claims that this is "real-life sharing," better known as "rethought for the web." It's actually pretty tough to explain in words. Even Google recommends just watching the video below for the full explanation, so we will as well. Look for public invites to go out sooner rather than later, if we had to guess.