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Google plus

Google+: Now open to the world


Google + is now open to the world. This means that web users no longer have to wait for an invitation from existing members to join the world’s fastest growing social network.

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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“For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal,” Google’s senior vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra said in a blog post.

“We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta… Anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about.”

The announcement featured on a list of ten of the latest improvements to the social network, launched by Google in June.

Other enhancements include the fact that members can now take part in “Hangouts” using camera enabled smartphones or tablets. They can also broadcast video presentations to groups of watchers using a feature called “Hangouts On Air”.

The first “Hangout on Air” will feature Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am.

The internet giant says it has also woven its search expertise into the social network by adding a query box.

The search results will be tailored to individual users, said Gundotra.

“If you’re into photography, for example, then you’ll see other enthusiasts and lots of great pictures. If you care more about cooking, then you’ll see other chefs and food from around the globe,” he explained.

“Google+ is still in its infancy, of course, but we’re more excited than ever to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software,” Gundotra said.

Another of the refinements being made includes means that developers will now be able to build new kinds of apps and games for the hangouts section.

He added that all of the enhancements would be rolled out globally.

The new enhancements come shortly after Google+ added a gaming section to its list of features. The games available on launch included the wildly popular Angry Birds.

The rise of Google+ has been meteoric. It was announced that Google+ had reached 10-million users just two weeks after it had launched.

Four weeks later, the social network had reached 25-million users. Based on ComScore rankings, the biggest country to use Google+ is in the US followed by India.

Opening up the social network to the world will be the truest test so far of whether or not Google+ is a credible threat to Facebook.

Facebook, with 750-million users, is the world’s largest social network.