If you weren’t able to score an invite into the beta of Google+ today is your day to check the service out. Starting today, Google+ is available for everyone. The service has been up and running for 90 days now, during which Google has made a number of improvements, a few of those improvements announced today along with its expanded availability.
Updated handouts – mobile, broadcasting, screensharing
Hangouts is one of my personal favorite features of Google+, the service lets you video chat with multiple people. While you can certainly video chat with several people on a variety of other service, Google+ lets you do it for free.
Today Google added the ability to hangout from your mobile phone, as well as the ability to go “on air” from a Google hangout so you can talk to a large group of people at once, with those people being more spectators than participants in the discussion.
The broadcasting functionality is only going to be available initially to a small about of people, with the first of those actually going down tomorrow night with will.i.am. Hangouts can now be named, and also support Screen sharing, Google Docs, and a Sketchpad for drawing together.
Now you can search within Google+ for people and posts based around a topic, as well as content from around the web.
I was pretty excited about Google+ when it launched, played with it obsessively for a few days, and then promptly stopped using the service. While a lot of the functionality is pretty cool, most of my friends are on Facebook, which means that’s where I’ll likely stay unless everyone decided to jump ship over to the + side.
Have any of you been using Google+? Did you make the switch to + from Facebook, or are you still using both services?