Posted: July 23, 2011
Google rolled out it’s social networking equivalent to Facebook, called Google+, this summer and the initial features look promising. Google+ organizes your Friends into Circles, or custom named groups that you can add your contacts to. Many Facebook users have become Friends with family members, work colleagues, old high school buddies, etc. and find it challenging to update their statuses with personal opinions or photos knowing that they might risk one of their co-workers seeing private messages. Google+’s Circles enables you to organize each of your contacts into a different category and choose which updates and content those people see.
Google+ has done a great job of implementing a system that is easy to use and navigate. Even though the system has nowhere near the number of features that Facebook has, it’s a great start and it seems that updating certain things is easier to find compared to having to dig through menus in Facebook.
After experimenting with Google+, the common reaction has been “Now what?”.
The big piece of the puzzle missing from Google+ is the ability for users to setup Pages for their Businesses, Organizations, Bands, Political Groups, etc. and for users to be able to follow those pages that they are interested in. Businesses have been itching to include their brands on Google+ but Google has been slow to respond.
In early July, Google announced that business accounts would be coming soon but then followed up with a message several days later asking businesses to stop making new accounts. This past week, several of the most popular companies who were able to setup Google+ Pages were removed without warning, including Mashable and Sesame Street.
Google should have probably waited in rolling out Google+ until the capabilities to add businesses to the system was ready. We have become so accustom to services on the Internet being accessible immediately and on demand that we don’t have the patience to wait for, what seems like a basic system, to be implemented. Google should have recognized this.
Still, Google will have all of these tools for businesses shortly and will continue to integrate their services with Google+, such as Maps, Places, and Calendars. Most importantly, the features on Google+ will tie back into search results since, after all, Google is all about “Search”!