Everyone knew this was coming but no one guessed when. Google has finally given green light to businesses to set up profiles on its social network.
So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people, Google SVP of Social Vic Gundotra said in a blog post, “we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about from local businesses to global brands so today we are rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide“.
Google+ pages look same as the profiles except a small square beside the name that which acts as a differentiator. Google’s launch partners include Angry Birds, CNN, Fox News, the Muppets, the Dallas Cowboys, Pepsi, Toyota, Macyâs, X Games, WWE, Train, Barcelona Football Club and Save the Children.
User can add a brand to their circle which will increase brand’s follower count and will give users the option to follow brand updates and other shared content. Brand pages were the biggest difference between Facebook and Google+ and now it seems search giant is looking forward to close this difference also. While a new feature we predict that you can expect lot of changes to G+ brand pages because:
- Google has restricted any contests on brand pages.
- It is easy to create a pseudo brand page, though there is a verification system in place, yet it is easy to overcome. The biggest hurdle to setting up a fake brand page is you have to agree to Google’s Pages Terms. If you violate those terms, Google says it will block or take your page down. It is also possible to set up an unofficial Google+ page for a brand you like.
- For now page can have only one administrator, which is not very good news for many media agencies.
Though beyond it’s shortcoming G+ brand pages will give brands additional social media mileage, specially the ones which are slightly disgruntled by Facebook’s near monoply and changing rules for brands. Google+ gives brand to interact with users through hangout alongwith churning out more targeted content.
In the end how Google+ turns out for brands is definitely yet to be seen, while we expect a ballistic usage across Europe and Americas , but do not expect the same in South Asia as more of the Indian users are present on Google+ but do not seem to be interacting a lot, hence in short it will be interesting how India brands lure and engage with users on + platform. All in all it will be a battle for supremacy between two social media giants.