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Google has officially opened the doors of its new social networking site to the general public, after running an invite only field trial for the past 12 weeks.

Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra made the announcement on the company’s official blog, saying it’s listened and learned a great deal about the site during the 12 week trial.

“We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups.”

“This way anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about.”

Gundotra also revealed some other new additions to the site, with Google adding a search feature due to high demand for the function.

“Just type what you’re looking for into the Google+ search box, and we’ll return relevant people and posts, as well as popular content from around the web.”

Google has also improved its Hangouts feature, adding mobile phone compatibility, as well as “on air” functionality which allows users to “speak to a large audience, or alternatively, view as a spectator.”

Other features to be rolled out over the next week include screensharing, sketchpad, access to Google Docs and Named Hangouts, to allow users to join or create a public hangout about a certain topic.

There has been no word yet as to when Google will roll out its Google+ offering for businesses.

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Lorna Brett

Lorna Brett

Lorna was Dynamic Business’ Social Web Editor in 2011/12. She’s a social media obsessed journalist, who has a passion for small business. Outside the 9 to 5, you’re likely to find her trawling the web for online bargains, perfecting her amateur photography skills or enjoying one too many cappucinos. You can follow her on <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/dynamicbusiness">Twitter @DynamicBusiness</a>

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