Google’s latest attempt to conquer the world of social networking has been open to a limited number of people for the past couple of months but the Mountain View company has now opened the flood gates to all and sundry.
Moving out of the invitation-only phase and into beta (no invitation requires) means that Google is confident that its social network experiment is ready for prime time and it will hope is ready to take on Facebook.
As well as making Google+ available to everyone, Google has also added a number of new features to the service. The first of these is Hangouts on you phone (Android 2.3 or higher for now) allowing you to video conference with multiple friends at once.
Hangouts On Air is a service to allow users to broadcast publicly. You will also be able to share your computer screen publicly if you're broadcasting or with a specific friend or cirlce of friends. You will also be able to share a sketchpad and Google Docs. A Hangouts API for developers has also been released.
Google has finally added search functionality across the Google+ environment which will let you search public posts as well as the wider web. Huddle, its instant messenger offering has been renamed simply Messenger with a number of new tweaks.
With Google playing catch-up to Facebook and Twitter, it will be hoping that Google+ and its new tweaks will make it a success but with Facebook set announce updates to it’s platform at it f8 conference on Thursday, it may already be too late for Google.