Google+ Brand Pages Open for Business, But Will Users Come?
Google+ opens the doors to businesses and adds a new search feature that makes it easier to find brand pages. But as Google's new social network expands its product offering, will it be enough to win back users who have already left?
Social Media Matters
By Kristin Burnham, CIO
It took a while, but it appears that Google+ may finally be chugging along.
Two weeks ago, Google announced integration for Google Apps users. This week, Google introduced Google+ Pages for products and brands, local businesses, companies, organizations, sports and more.
Google+ Pages have the same design as personal pages, and look and function much like Facebook’s: Photo thumbnails appear at the top of the page, with updates streaming below. The check mark next to the name denotes a verified account (similar to Twitter’s verified user), and the square icon beside it signifies that the profile is a Page, rather than a personal account.
Google+ Pages have all the same features as the personal pages, including customizable profile information, a photo section, Hangouts and more–and I’m sure more capabilities are to come. Pages also have the ability to share circles, which Google’s own Google+ profile did here to promote additional pages that fall under its umbrella:
In addition, Google introduced a new search feature that will make it easier to find and add businesses and brands to your circles. Inserting the + symbol before a query in Google will take you directly to their Google+ Page where you can then add them to a Circle.
Though Google is announcing Google+ Pages for businesses and brands today, not anyone can sign up just yet. Following a link to “Create a page” returns an error message saying, Thanks for your interest in Google+ Pages, but we haven’t finished releasing them to everyone. Please check back soon.
While Google+ appears to be chugging along now, the social network’s first months were criticized from the start: from abruptly shutting down the invitation service and operating instead in a limited beta, to deleting accounts that weren’t linked to real people.