Mountain View, Calif. – Following 12 weeks of field trials, search giant Google said it has opened its Google+ social network to the general public, which no longer needs an invitation to join.

“We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta,” wrote Vic Gundotra, the company’s senior vice president of engineering, in a blog post.

Google is taking on Facebook with the project, which now includes live video communication features.

This article was also published in Potomac Tech Wire.

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Photo by flickr user Leah Jones, used under Creative Commons license