Google has now opened its online social network, Google+, to the public, in an attempt to challenge its rival Facebook.
New features have also been introduced to Google+, such as the ability to search for information about a wide range of topics, as well as the ability to see Google+ users relevant to what the user is searching for.
Google+, which launched earlier this year in late June, had previously only been open to users who received invitations from other users. The social network is now putting a big emphasis on video, one of Google’s main technological advantages over Facebook.
Facebook, which currently has over 750 million active users, recently made a deal with Skype to give users the ability to communicate with one another via webcam.
Google+ will allow up to 10 people to communicate simultaneously in a video “hangout.” The video “hangout” can also be broadcasted live to the public.
Last week, Google started allowing developers to build apps for Google+, much like how developers build applications and games for Facebook users.
Google+ allows users to share comments, articles, photos, videos, and more, in various “circles” of friends or affiliates, and can also share content publicly. In the future, Google hopes to incorporate features of Google+ in its other services, such as YouTube.
Google’s social network service currently has more than 25 million users, according to the comScore research firm.