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Google+ Now Available For Everyone, Adds New Features

by Emily Price | September 20, 2011September 20, 2011 10:45 am PDT

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 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?

Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...