Google+ social network now open to all

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Google+ social network now open to all

Jenny Williams

Google has finished its trial of social network, Google+, opening up the platform to new members without an invitation.

Google launched its social network platform in June 2011, allowing users to sign up to Google's social network with an invitation. The company has now introduced "open sign-ups".

On its company blog, Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of engineering, said: "For the past 12 weeks we've been in field 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 sign-ups. This way anyone can visit Google+, join the project and connect with the people they care about."

Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum, said Google+ completes the company's portfolio of services.

"Google has been slow to formulate a coherent social networking strategy, which is more than an oversight given the assets Google has in this area and the fact that strong social networks have scale, thriving developer communities, big audiences and a monetisation strategy based on advertising. This is core to Google's own interests - and of course other social networks already established in the market," he said.

Zoller said the biggest challenge for Google will be in differentiating against Facebook.

"This won't be easy as Facebook is quick to introduce new features and has had the benefit of being able to watch the trial of Google+ prior to its beta launch this week," he said.

Zoller added that mobile will be crucial for Google, considering the growing base of Android devices.

The Google+ social media project is built around four separate areas. Users can communicate with selected groups, share photos and comments, while Google integrates the service with the maps and image tools.


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