Google has revealed its answer to Facebook Groups, Google+ Communities, a way for like-minded souls to create hubs of discussion and media on any topic they’re interested in. Hitting all Google+ accounts today, Communities works as a topic-specific discussion board, with support for various sub-topics branching off from that, and with a choice of privacy settings to control whether anybody can participate, or if it’s locked down.
Communities can be made fully public, or demand membership before they can be used. Alternatively, they can be private, with a choice as to whether or not they show up in search results. It’s also possible to post new content to the Communities you’re part of simply by choosing them in the circles section of a new update.
Hangout video chats and Events are both integrated, as you’d expect, and there’s gallery support along with YouTube video embeds. There are also various filters, for cutting information down into specific topics, while members of individual Communities will be able to share directly into them by choosing that Community page when they hit +1 around the web.
“Facebook most generally is about the people you already know, about your real world connections” Google’s Brad Horowitz said of Google+ Communities’ rivals. “On Twitter, well it’s really hard to have a meaningful conversation in 140-character snippets.” According to Horowitz, the new feature is all about “making it easy to find your tribe.”