Google+ now Open to Anyone Anywhere!
After being on field trial for 3 months, it looks like Google+ will now be on public beta, which means anyone can now signup for a Google+ account without any invites.
In a blogpost, Vic Gundotra, Senior VP of Engineering said "For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal. We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups. This way anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about."
Together with the announcement, Google introduced a number of new features on Google+ most notably with regard to the video chat 'Hangout' feature:
- Google+ users will now have the ability to use Hangout on a Android device running version 2.3 or higher.
- Introducing Hangouts On Air, a form of a public broadcast that allows you to broadcast a hangout session to a large audience.
- Extra Hangout features like Screensharing, Sketchpad, Google Docs, and Named Hangouts, which create Hangouts for people who share a specific topic.
- Hangout API; Google released a number of Hangout APIs, so developer can start creating apps that will utilize the video chat tool.
- Search in Google+ "Just type what you’re looking for into the Google+ search box, and we’ll return relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web," said Gundotra.
There's no telling what kind of reception Google+ will have on the general public, although there was a high demand for Google+ invites (I alone was able to sent out at least 400 Google+ Invites) when it was first announced and attracted more than 10 million users on it's first two weeks alone.
Lately, however, people seem to have lost interest in the service, particularly when news broke about Plus's real-name policy and lack of a business account. For those who have yet to create their Google+ account, simply visit http://plus.google.com to create one.