- "Circles" enables users to organize contacts into groups for sharing, across various Google products and services. Although other users can view a list of people in a user's collection of circles, they cannot view the names of those circles. The privacy settings also allows users to hide the users in their circles as well as who has them in their circle. Organization is done through a drag-and-drop interface. This system replaces the typical friends list function used by sites such as Facebook.
- "Huddle" is a feature available to Android, iPhone, and SMS devices for communicating through instant messaging within circles.
- "Hangouts" are places used to facilitate group video chat (with a maximum of 10 people participating in a single Hangout at any point of time). However, anyone on the web could potentially join the 'Hangout' if they happen to possess the unique URL of the Hangout.
- "Instant Upload" is specific to Android mobile devices; it stores photos or video in a private album for sharing later.
- "Sparks" is a front-end to Google Search, enabling user to identify topics they might be interested in sharing with others; "featured interests" sparks are also available, based on topics others globally are finding interesting.
- Through "Streams," users see updates from those in their circles, updates similar to Facebook's news feed. The input box allows users to enter a status update or use icons to upload and share photo and videos.
Within a day of the website's launch, various news agencies reported that Google+ was blocked by People's Republic of China. This is part of a wider policy of censorship in Mainland China.
Required information at subscription:
Subscription to the service requires mandatory name and gender disclosure, which are publicly shared. The gender selector has options for "Male," "Female" and "Other." This requirement has been criticized for causing lack of privacy and, together with Facebook and other social networks, for forcing the user to choose among limited categories that describe preconceived gender descriptors. The mandatory public gender exposure led to criticism for making older Google profiles public.