Google+ Now Open to Everyone, Invitations Now Worthless on eBay

After keeping a semi-tight lid on Google+ for the past three months, the sultan of search has now opened up its social networking platform to the general public. For better or worse, that means anyone and everyone is free to sign up. Some of you just let out a groan and are thinking, "Great, there goes the neighborhood," while others are jumping for joy at the prospect of an influx of members to finally get those streams flowing.

"For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal. 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, join the project and connect with the people they care about," Vic Gundotra, Google's Senior Vice President of Engineering, announced in a blog post.

According to Gundotra, Google's latest round of tweaks bring the number of improvements to Google+ to 100 since it launched back in June. In particular, Google's been paying a lot of attention to Hangouts in recent weeks, which is now a feature available on Android 2.3+ smartphones (iOS support coming soon) with front-facing cameras.

Are you excited about Google+ opening up to the general public, or do you already miss when it was by invite only?