Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus) is a social networking and identity service that is owned and operated by Google Inc. Google has described Google+ as a "social layer" that enhances many of its online properties, and that it is not simply a social networking website, but also an authorship tool that associates web-content directly with its owner/author. It is the second-largest social networking site in the world after Facebook. 540 million monthly active users are part of the Identity service site, by interacting socially with Google+'s enhanced properties, like Gmail, +1 button, and YouTube comments.
There are currently 540 million monthly active users across Google Properties and 300 Million active in the Google + Stream. Google+ user base is roughly 60% male and 25% female as of November 2013. The remainder are "Other" or unknown. Early adopters of Google+ in mid-2011 were mostly male (71.24%), and the dominant age bracket (35%) was between 25 and 34. An August 2011 survey estimated that 13% of U.S. adults have joined Google+; it was projected to have 22% of U.S. adults in a year.
A Google+ User profile is a public visible account of a user that is attached to many Google properties. It includes basic social networking elements like a profile photo, about section, background photo, previous work and school history, interests, places lived and an area to post status updates. It also includes several identity service sections, such as a contributor and other profiles area that let one link their "properties across the web". These section optionally link to other social media accounts one has, any blogs one owns or have written or sites one is a contributor to. This area is used for Google Authorship. Customized or Vanity URLs were made available to the public starting on October 29.2013 to any account that was 30+ days old, has a profile photo and at least 10 followers. Google removed author photo from search results in June 2014 and in August 2014 Google will stop showing authorship in search results both photo and author name.