With the launch of Google’s new profile/social media attempt, “<a title=”Google+” href=”https://plus.google.com/” target=”_blank”>Google+</a>,” there have been certain problems that became apparent.
Google has recently stated that it is working on a Google+ for businesses (or Google+ Business Profile) and is asking companies not to create Google+ profiles as of yet.
In a post and accompanying YouTube video on Google+, Product Manager Christian Oestlien states that the Google+ team is working hard on creating a unique experience for businesses that includes deep analytics and the ability to connect to more Google products; such as AdWords. “How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands,” Oestlien states.
As a result, Google is asking businesses to put their Google+ ambitions on hold. Meanwhile Google+ continues to delete non-user profiles and therefore will not allow for porting over once testing has finished.
Several prominent brands have already joined Google+, including Ford, Breaking News and Mashable, one of the top ten most popular users on Google+. In a survey by <a title=”SocialStatistics” href=”http://socialstatistics.com/” target=”_blank”>SocialStatistics</a>, Mark Zuckerberg is the most popular user on Google+ with almost double the followers of the second most popular user. That might not be exactly what Google was hoping for when starting Google+. Especially considering that Larry Page, the Co-Founder and current CEO of Google is the runner up.
The next issue is similar to that of Facebook and Twitter; User Verification. Twitter has a check-mark for users/celebrities that have been verified and in this case where for instance, Mark Zuckerberg’s profile is inactive but has many friends, one starts to question if it is truly Mr. Zuckerberg or just a fan.
While the new Google+ experience for businesses won’t be ready until “later this year,” the company intends to launch a “small experiment with a few marketing partners” to test the brand-oriented accounts over the next few months. It even has opened up a Google Spreadsheet where “non-user entities” can apply for the program.
Still, the biggest problem with Google+ is that most users won’t be switching over from Facebook that easily. It may prove to be too much of a hassle to re-invite friends or family members to a new social network. This holds true for company profiles that have spent countless time, energy, and funds to increase their community. From a business perspective, Facebook Pages trumps Google+ Business Profiles because companies are already invested and established there.
Nonetheless, many analysts have stated that Google+ Business Profiles will dominate over Business Pages on Facebook and cite the Google Checkout payment system as a major factor. Then there are rumors that Google will integrate Google Places with Google+ Business Profiles, but these are not confirmed and in our opinion unlikely.
We’re not surprised that Google is building an optimized Google+ experience for businesses, but we are surprised that Google wasn’t more prepared for the wave of brands that have been joining its social network. The same thing happened with Google Buzz and has happened on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and countless other social networks. Brands like to go where their customers are; so Google shouldn’t stop them!
Here are a few more known <a title=”Google+ issues” href=”http://www.google.com/support/+/bin/static.py?page=known_issues.cs” target=”_blank”>Google+ issues</a>.