Remember Google Buzz? What about Orkut, or Google Wave?
Google has tried several times to take on Facebook and master social networking - without much success. Now it is making its biggest effort yet.
On Tuesday, Google introduced a social networking service called the Google+ project - which happens to look a lot like Facebook. The service - which is initially available to a select group of Google users who will soon be able to invite others - will let people share and discuss status updates, photos and links like they do on Facebook.
It offers group video chats, called Hangouts, that other members of a group can join as it is happening
But the Google+ project will be different in one significant way: It is meant for sharing with groups - like colleagues, roommates or hiking friends - not with all of one's friends or the entire web. It also offers group text messaging and video chat.
"In real life, we have walls and windows and I can speak to you knowing who's in the room, but in the online world, you share with the whole world through a 'Share' box", said Mr Bradley Horowitz, a vice president for product management at Google, who is leading the company's social efforts with Mr Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president for engineering. "We have a different model."
Google+ users will start by selecting people they know from their Gmail contacts (and from other services, once Google strikes deals with them). They can drag and drop friends' names into different groups, or circles, and give the circles titles, like "sisters" or "book club". Then they can share with these groups or with all of their friends.
Unlike on Facebook, people do not have to agree to be friends with one another. They can receive someone's updates without sharing their own.
Facebook has also recognised people's desire to share with smaller groups, and last year introduced Groups to make that possible. It has been one of Facebook's fastest-growing products, with users creating 50 million groups in the first six months, said Facebook.
"We're in the early days of making the web more social, and there are opportunities for innovation everywhere," a Facebook spokeswoman said in response to Google+.
When users visit their Google+ home page, they see three columns and a stream of status updates in the middle that looks remarkably like Facebook. But Google said that besides an easier way to share with select groups, Google+ has several other features that distinguish it from competitors.
It offers group video chats, called Hangouts, that other members of a group can join as it is happening. Users can search a section called Sparks to see articles and videos from across the web on certain topics, like recipes or ailments, and share them with relevant groups of friends.
People can chat with groups using a feature called Huddle on the Google+ mobile app for Android phones and iPhones. Photos and videos shot with cellphones are automatically uploaded to a private album, so Google+ users can quickly view and post them from their phones or later on a computer.
"The notion that online sharing is broken is not an insight that is unique to us," Mr Horowitz said.