Google+ is adding new features and functionality nearly on a daily basis for the 25 million users so far today. Change is a good thing, especially for the upcoming Google+ for business, which we will discuss below.
Here’s an overview of what’s new at Google+ for user profiles as of this month:
- Get notified when people you invited join Google+
- Take your profile photo with your web camera
- Verification badges on profiles of public figures, celebrities, and people who have been added to a large number of Circles
- Slide-in animation when you get a new notification when someone comments on your post, adds you to a circle, or takes any other Google+ action that involves you
- Google+ bar float at the top of the screen when you scroll down to maximize reading space
- Collapse and expand comments
- Games on Google+. When you’re ready to play, the Games page will show you gameplay updates from your circles, your latest game notifications and information on what’s been played recently.
Google+ for business, brand or entity profiles
They are “coming soon” (i.e. before the end of the year). In the meantime, Google is asking businesses to hold off on creating consumer profiles as what it has planned will be without the “workarounds” required on Facebook (and more compelling). Besides, Google+ will be shutting down non-user accounts when the business feature is available. However, there are businesses in test mode now and doors seem to be closed for any new beta testers.
Business accounts will be different from user profiles. They will include such things as rich analytics and the ability to connect to products like AdWords.
“How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands,” reports Google+, Product Manager Christian Oestlien. (You can see his video explaining more about business profiles here.)
PCWorld is speculating on the superiority of Google+ for businesses over Facebook Pages. They’re suggesting how Google could integrate its “Apps for Business productivity suite, with tools including word processing and calendars, as well as its booming Apps Marketplace of third-party apps.”
More apps include:
- Google +1
- Google Checkout
- Android devices, such as Mobile Payments
- Products Search
- Google Docs
- Google Maps
- Google Places
And let’s not forget about Google+ Hangouts (group video)!
PCWorld closed its article (mentioned above) with the most revealing benefit Google+ has to offer:
… For better or worse, Google has built its reputation on helping you find what you need–whether it’s a location, an image, or a product. Facebook has repeatedly stated that it’s focused on helping you connect with your friends. So when Google+ business profiles allow you to integrate your business’s presence into trusted tools used by everyday searchers, it’s a proposition that neither Facebook nor business owners can afford to ignore.