The new feature can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of your Google+ profile and is meant to mimic the Twitter direct message feature which allows Twitter members to send messages to people who are following them.
As Google explains the new product:
Google Chat makes it easy to chat with people you have relationships with. In Google+, you can chat with anyone in your Circles who also has added you to their Circles. And, when you’re not using Google Plus, you’ll still be able to chat with them using Google products including, Gmail, the Google Talk client, iGoogle, Orkut and 3rd party apps.
If you don’t want to open up the channels of communication with every single one of your circles that’s fine as well, Google offers a privacy setting to turn off the feature for certain circles if you want to stop the free flow of chat capabilities.
Google has also made one further change to the Google chat platform, instead of showing all of a persons contacts in the Google Plus Chat list they are now displaying contacts from most recent conversations who are online at the time you view your list. Users can still use the search box to find other members but now avoid the clutter of massive lists with tons of people in them.
Do you think the new Google+ chat system is a move in the right direction for the fledgling social network?