Sunday, July 03, 2011

Google+ to offer Business Profiles in the 'near' future

Google's (latest) social networking venture, Google+ is still only in limited release, and it's obvious it's still in development, as quite a few things are missing. One thing that is definitely missing: a feature analogous to Facebook's Fan Pages, that can be used by organizations and businesses.

AlibrisJeff Huber, Google VP of Local and Commerce, has stated that Google+ will include an option for business profile pages. When exactly that happens is unclear, but he did say that however those pages are generated, they will be "great."
And pre-emptively answering a question — yes, we will have (smb) business profile pages on Google+. I can’t announce a launch date yet, but we want to make them *great*, and we’re coding as fast as we can.
Of course, first Google has to roll out Google+ to more people. It's already pretty frustrating that, since Google shut down invites over "insane demand," there's no way to invite those you might want to include in a Circle. That is already incredibly frustrating.

It's true that just like with Facebook Fan Pages, businesses are already looking to set up a presence on Google+. That includes, for example, Search Engine Land, who complained about the inability to do so, and received this reply from Google group product manager Christian Oestlien:
We definitely appreciate your enthusiasm and desire to get a presence going for Search Engine Land in the Google+ Project. We are obviously only a few days into this, but initially we wanted to make sure that we optimized for the individual use case. Building great consumer products is a necessary prerequisite for compelling business products.

In the future we may want to enable Google+ to support businesses and brands, but we want to make sure we do that in the right way. The things that matter for an individual user aren’t the same things that matter for businesses and we want to make sure both have a great experience in Google+.

For now we are actively discouraging businesses to adopt consumer profiles, but we have heard the feedback and will obviously do what we can down the line to build optimal experiences for all of the entities (human or otherwise) that make up our social and interest graphs. Like we’ve said from the start (3 days ago) this is just the beginning of a very long journey towards making Google, our properties and products more social.
So, it's coming but Google wanted to make the case for individual use first, and optimized for that. How long business profiles will take is unknown, but we hope it's sooner rather than later.

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