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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinking of Creating a Business Profile on Google+? Better Wait.

Danny Sullivan posted a great critique of Google+ today - the fact that in order to create a business profile on Google+, you have to go through the motions of creating a user profile on Google, which includes putting an age (of which is a minimum 18 years old at the moment to use Google+). It turns out Google doesn't want users to do this though, as Bradley Horowitz, from the Google+ team responded with this:
"Let me be clear - and I'm sorry if this wasn't obvious - we are not currently supporting brands, organizations, and non-human entities in the Google+ field trial. While we should have been clearer about this, there are some fields in the registration form (asking for a first name, a last name, an age and a gender) that indicate that.

Supporting these non-human entities is an obviously great feature - we have no allergy to it at all! It's just not part of the system we are currently testing.

The field trial has limitations that I know are frustrating - ranging from lack of "obvious" features to inability to invite the people you most want to share with... We weren't kidding when we said this was early and a test... and if the product leads to more frustration than you can bear, then that's understandable and I promise that you will see fast and meaningful progress... and you can jump back in when we meet your bar for minimum viable functionality.

+Danny Sullivan, there is good news also on the way regarding namespace - it's something I believe you will like, but sadly it's not here yet either.
Apologies again for the frustrating experience."
Currently only a couple of brands - namely, Mashable and TheNextWeb, have tried this, but it may be a wise choice to wait until Google releases an official solution for brands.

Looking at experience from Facebook, many brands were left scrambling to create their own Facebook Pages after they had done similar with user profiles back in around 2007 or 2008. There are still brands trying to convert their Facebook Profiles over to Pages even today.

So if you're considering a brand presence on Google+, for the moment, it might be best spent just learning about the service and getting your users and fans using it and promoting your brand there. It's also unclear whether Google will start removing accounts that do this, so be careful. It's great to see Google coming out and providing a roadmap on this - let's hope they make this even more clear in other places so others can know as well. For now we just have to sit tight!

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