Are you using Google+?

Google plus what?

Now, Google+ might catch a lot of flak from the media and the rest of the social media market for being... well... a bit odd. And truth be told, Google's social platform is a bit odd compared to most other platforms. It's free to both users and brands, there's no advertising, there's not much marketing of Google+ as a platform — which makes the fact that Google+ has more monthly active users than Pinterest or Twitter all the more impressive. Now, you might keep hearing how Google+ is dying — it's not — and it's leadership is jumping ship, but actually Google+ has been active, if not thriving recently, after buying Polar Polls and just this week the acquisition of photo storing and sharing startup Odysee. Not exactly the sign of a dying service, is it?

Using Google+ can take more than one form. You may not find Circles and Communities your cup of tea, but many an Android user will dip every so quickly into Google+ in order to join communities for beta testing apps, and then leave with their beta-opt in and seldom come back. That's fine — although if you join a beta community, you should stick around to give feedback. Your Google+ profile also ties into the Google Play Store for rating, reviewing, and +1ing apps and content, so if you write a lot of ripper reviews, you may want to consider updating your Google+ account so that you're not just a little blue outline. Then there are the G+ Photos users, which are technically still Google+ users, though there are rumors G+ Photos will be spun out so it can fight other photo services on its own.

I will admit I have an affection for Google+. As someone's who's more than a little socially awkward in real life, Google+ and its communities is a wonderful way for me to make both professional connections and friends. It may not be the best network for staying in touch with friends and family, but it's wonderful for making new connections, and that has more value to me.

So, are you using Google+ in any capacity? Is Mr. Jingles in your circles? I hope you are — and be sure to follow Android Central and all our crew — and I hope you'll share why you are or are not in the comments below.