So Google finally decided to release its "Facebook killer" that they were once going to call "Google Me" but which now is Google+. On the second day of its beta release, I managed to get an invite from a fellow FriendFeeder, so now I'm in on it and get to check it out. These are my initial impressions.
It was a no-brainer for me to accept the invitation, since I already have so much stuff on Google, at Picasa, YouTube, Google Docs, and so on. Looking at the main stream, I can see it has a lot in common with FriendFeed and the Facebook news feed. But the toolbar at the top (below the black main bar) gives you easy access to photos; others' in your stream as well as your own at Picasa (which you can even upload); your Google profile (mine has not just my Plus posts and the "about me" section, but my Picasa photos, the videos I haven't yet uploaded, and my Google Buzz stream); and the new Circles feature, which happens to be the best implementation of a "lists" feature I've ever seen, which even takes care of the privacy problems that have long plagued Facebook. There's a video chat feature called Hangout, and an option to download all your Google data (currently limited to Picasa and Google+ itself) if you want to back it up.
So far, so good. Of course, I'm only beginning to find my way through Google+. There's still the issue of the learning curve; it's still new. There's still a lot of glitches that have to be worked out. And it's still invitation-only. But then, it's still in beta. Hopefully Google will work out the glitches before it goes into full release, and put it into full release a lot sooner than they did Wave. But if one thing's for sure, I'm already using it a lot more than I do Facebook.