Google+ Opens Up, No Invite Needed

Invitations now optional

If you’ve been wanting to try Google+ (and you’re not a brand or business), good news: Google’s social project is now available without an invitation. there’s a joke about +1s and guest lists somewhere in there, but we’ll let you come up with your own. {Google Blog}

The open registration comes alongside a number of updates including Hangouts (the popular group video chat offering that Facebook has tried to take on via a Skype partnership) on Android 2.3+ phones, and Hangouts broadcasts. Broadcasts will allow group video chats to be publicly viewable, which seems like it could be the beginning of an interesting tie-in with YouTube. That’s just our take, but being able to broadcast video content then record it and save to YouTube seems like a natural next step.

Hangouts APIs were part of today’s announcement as well, so if some enterprising developer is thinking along the same lines and grabs the YouTube API, we may not even have to wait for Google.

Also rolled out today is search for Google+. Honestly, it’s hard to come up with a good reason for why it took the world’s largest search company 3 months to introduce search for the product they’re tying bonuses to, but better late than never.

What still remains up in the air are how brands and businesses who want to hangout and get in on the Google+ action will be handled. Hopefully that’s coming in the next 90-days, but for now everyone else is welcome and it looks like there are a few positives with the current Google+.

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