Google+ pages and Google+ for business
In a blog post this afternoon, Google launched brand pages on Google+, as well as apologising for kicking brands off in the first place. With the content that brands can add to social networks, Google will hope that it will create a richer experience for users, in turn driving more users to use the service.
Google+ Pages Product Management Director, Dennis Troper gives more detail:
On your page, you can post updates and news about your business, engage in conversations with your customers, send tailored messages to specific groups of people, and see how many +1’s you have across the web.
Brands and business from everywhere in the world can sign-up for a page right now, and also learn about how to Google+ your business. Or, you can check out some of the pages from their launch partners:
- Angry Birds
- Barcelona Football Club
- Chelsea Football Club
- Dallas Cowboys
- Good Morning America
- The Muppets
- The New York Times
- Save the Children
- The Wall Street Journal
- X Games
It worth noting Burberry’s nice animated set of images on their page (and remembering that Facebook doesn’t allow animation on their pages) and their welcome video from Christopher Bailey.
Pages linked to Adwords
They have a few more things in store for brands, with a Google+ page icon for your site and a soon to launch Google+ page badge, and also news that Google+ will be linked with AdWords:
Consumers will be able to see all the recommendations your business has received, whether they are looking at an ad, a search result or your page, meaning your +1’s will reach not only the 40 million users of Google+, but all the people who come to Google every day.
Google have also thought about how to direct users to the new brand pages, with the launch of Direct Connect – type +brand into Google search and it will direct you straight to the brand’s Google+ page, giving you the option of adding it to your circles at the same time.
They’ve also started trying to ship the Google part of Google+. Take this as you like, but it basically means stronger and better integration of Google+ with YouTube and Chrome. The focus of the new functionality is to improve sharing for everyone.
YouTube is now accessible from a slider from a handy new YouTube icon in plus, a simple hover asks ‘what would you like to play’ and before you know it, you will be watching the best lolcats YouTube has to offer. It also allows you to share videos to your circles.
Google+ Chrome extensions
The second part of the rollout is the Google+ Chrome extensions. A new taskbar will add a +1 button, allowing you to +1 any webpage and directly share it with your circles and notifications will be displayed while you browse the web.
Google News Integration
In addition to the new Google+ features, Google are expanding their integration for journalists. Rather than just allowing journalist to attach their articles to a Google profile, the changes will mean they also have an option to link to a Google+ profile, including benefits such as showing their name and the amount of followers in their circles.
All of these non-pages additions aim to integrate Google products throughout their offering, and no doubt hope to increase membership of Google+.
Update 1: Dan Goodswen from We Are Social’s Sydney office has done some more digging into pages – currently a page can only have a single admin, there’s no way to transfer admin rights of pages and there are no plans to allow pages to have vanity URLs.
Update 2: Robert Scoble has gone off on one, attacking Google+ pages with some venom, making very similar points to Dan Goodswen above. Skipser have a step-by-step guide to creating a page and Inside Facebook brings news of how page updates can be targeted to only those 18 years old or above, that you’ll soon be able to target 21 years and above too, and that Google is prohibiting contests or sweepstakes on pages.