It may have taken a while, but Google has now officially opened up Google+ to business and brands, not just individuals. It's calling the new feature Google+ Pages, but there appears to be little difference between a Page and an individual account in practice -- you're able to add Pages to any of your regular Circles, and Page owners are able to post as usual and take part in Hangouts. Pages also naturally turn up in Google search results, and the company's introduced a new Direct Connect as well that lets you search specifically for Google+ Pages -- just type "+Google" or "+Angry Birds" in a Google search box and you'll be taken directly to the respective page. Both features are rolling out on a limited basis starting today, but Google's promising they'll be open to everyone soon.

Update: Well, that certainly didn't take long -- Google has now opened up Pages to everyone. You can circle us at +Engadget if you like, and find Distro at +Engadget Distro.