Google+ Opens Up To Everybody, Adds Tons Of Features To Hangouts

Actually… Google+ is now open to everybody! So you don’t even need invites anymore.

Does the lack of exclusivity mean that mean it’s not cool anymore? (Or was it?) We’ll find out.

The whole point of social networks is to be social, so get your friends to sign up at plus.google.com if you really want to get anything out of it.

Why even bother with Google+?

Some of your geeky friends may have gotten on Facebook this summer and said “Google+ is awesome! Let me know if you want invites and I’ll get you in!”

Well, here are the two main reasons people like Google+ so much:

1) Privacy and sharing are very easy to control and customize on Google+.

Because of that, social connections on Google+ are more meaningful. Facebook is tweaking their system to let you customize sharing, but it just doesn’t work as well as it does on Google+.

2) The interface is much cleaner and easier to use.

• Want to share a photo? Just click and drag it into the share box.

• Like being up-to-date on everything? You’ll see a simple notification box at the top of every Google website you get on.

Facebook continues to add new features, but Google+ is steadily pumping out useful new features.

The “Hangouts” feature on Google+ is a good example of that.

Hangouts

Hangouts are, without a doubt, the easiest way to have an open group video chat. You can invite (or not invite) whoever you want into the group chat.

In addition to opening its doors to everybody today, they also made a ton of updates to the Hangouts feature.

Here’s what’s new about hangouts:

- You can hangout on smartphones. This is only on Androids for now, but iOS will come soon… hopefully with the iPhone 5. :)

- “On air” hangouts, which are more like a broadcast. You are the main person when you’re doing an “On air” hangout.

- Screen sharing

- Sketchpad – Doodle with your friends!

- Google docs integration.

- Name the hangout (example: “Discussion on exciting new facebook features” hangout)

That was just one example of the many things Google+ is adding. Many more are on the way.

So now that it’s open, will you and your friends get on it? Or will you just stick to Facebook. (Or myspace?)

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