Google+ is a massive venture for the influential Internet company-- the Googlers have been seeking to beat back an ascendant Facebook and stake a lasting claim in social for years. Over at, Steven Levy has a weighty breakdown of the history of the new social network, including juicy bits about just how much Google is banking its future on the project (codenamed Emerald Sea).

Excerpt: "As early as last August, I asked Gundotra whether he felt Emerald Sea was a bet-the-company project. 'I think so,' he replied. 'I don’t know how you can look at it any other way.'"

If you're interested at all in Google or the future of social networking, the whole thing is worth the read.