Google+ has expanded its services this week, allowing businesses to create a Page and engage with Google+ users. Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google, says 'So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about - from local businesses to global brands - so we're rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.'
Mr Gundotra goes on to say, '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. All you need to do is start sharing, and you'll soon find the super fans and loyal customers that want to say hello.'
With 40 million Google+ users, the network still has a long way to go to match Facebook's mind boggling network of 400 million user, as well as its ability to provide a more complete business offering. However, Google+ does offer something different. +Circles enables users to re-create their real life relationship circles online, allowing them to share and engage differently with friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. Users can now join organisation's circles, and receive updates from them in the long term.
Google has also maximised its market share of search engine usage with its Direct Connect feature, as Google+ business pages will now show up on the search result pages. The idea behind this is to encourage users to transform their queries into a meaningful connection with that brand, and the opportunity to join its circle and be kept up to date its news.
Although in its infancy, large organisations such as Angry Birds, Burberry, H&M, Save The Children and Toyota have joined, and are making use of live feed to update their pages with eye-catching content.
For more information on the various Google+ business page features, visit the company's blog here. We'll be keeping you updated on the developments with Google+, so do check back for any news.