As talk about how well (or unwell) Google+ is doing permeated the blogsopohere, Google launched a bunch of new features for its social network yesterday. Google also took Google+ out of invite-only mode, so anybody can sign up.
Today, Google is advertising Google+ on the Google homepage. Twice. If you go to google.com, you may see a giant blue arrow pointing to the top left corner, where, if you’re not already a Google+ user, you’ll see “+You”. If you click on this, you’ll be greeted with a sign up careen for Google+:
If you are already a user, you’ll simply see +YourName – something of a reminder to go back to Google+ in case you haven’t been there in a while.
One of our developers pointed out that the arrow on the page is just an animated gif, as opposed to HTML5. I guess they want even people with crappy browsers to sign up for Google+.
This links to will.i.am’s Google+ profile. As part of yesterday’s big announcement, Google revealed On Air hangouts, which allow users to host hangouts that while only 9 others can actually join, anybody can see. They can also be recorded. Google wants to show off this new feature of Google+, which is sure to be a hit among users, as well as the fact that celebrities are using it. This can be good for growth. Just ask Twitter.
Google picked a very good time to open Google+ to the masses, as Facebook just rolled out some design changes that have a lot of users in an uproar. Some might be ready to leave, though in all honesty, I highly doubt we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of Facebook. This is certainly not the first time the Internet has freaked out over changes to Facebook’s design. When your user base is that big, you’re certainly going to have some backlash.