After a few months of testing, Google+ pages are available to everyone. You can create public pages for brands, products, local businesses and more.
"For businesses and brands, Google+ pages help you connect with the customers and fans who love you. Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face. All you need to do is start sharing, and you'll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello," says Google.
Google+ pages look like Google+ profiles, but there are some differences: pages can't +1 other pages, don't support notifications and "can't add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned".
People can add pages to one of their circles and there's a new built-in circle called "Following" that can be used to follow pages. The circle is used to automatically follow pages if you enable this option.
If you've been wondering why the + operator no longer works in Google search, the answer is that you can now use it to find Google+ pages. Type +google in the regular Google search box, press Enter and you'll be sent to Google's Google+ page. This only works for a small number of pages and the search box is smart enough to autocomplete the page's name.
To test the new feature, I've created a Google+ page for this blog where you'll find more news and tips about Google.