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Google+ adds members, photo-sharing app

social media Updated: Dec 07, 2012 13:03 IST

Google said Thursday its online social network had grown to 135 million active users, and added a photo-sharing app which helps compete against services like Facebook's Instagram.

"Today Google+ is the fastest-growing network thingy ever," said Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra in a blog post.

He added that "135 million (users) are active in just the stream," and that more than 500 million have upgraded their Google accounts to potentially participate in the social network which aims to rival Facebook.

"This enthusiasm, we think, stems from our building tools that build real relationships -- in a live hangout, around a breathtaking photo, or with an inner circle of friends," Gundotra said.

"So today we're launching two new improvements that help bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software."

Google said it has now introduced the mobile photo-sharing service Snapseed, made by Nik Software, to the social network.

"We're excited to bring their Snapseed app (last year's iPad app of the year) to Android," Gundotra said.

The service, which is similar to Instagram -- bought by Facebook for a hefty price this year -- allows users to crop and enhance pictures before posting to social networks.

Gundotra said Google+ will be adding a new feature called "Communities" which makes the Google+ "hangouts" permanent locations.

"Google+ has always been a place to crowd around common interests and meet new people. What's been missing, however, are more permanent homes for all the stuff you love: the wonderful, the weird, and yes, even the things that are waaay out there. With Google+ Communities there's now a gathering place for your passions."