Just as Facebook has Profiles and Pages apparently Google+ will have “Pages” for entities. Some are already making them. But according to Mike Blumenthal, Google’s head of Commerce & Local Jeff Huber says that Google+ SMB-centric Business Profiles are coming.
Huber comments on Mikes Blog:
Re:tweeting — with the recent Google+ ‘field trial’ (which is going very well) and impending launch, I expect my primary voice will be there (aka http://plus.google.com/; me on Google+: http://profiles.google.com/jhuber). Let me know anyone here that wants an invite to the G+ field trial.
And pre-emptively answering a question — yes, we will have (smb) business profile pages on Google+. I can’t announce a launch date yet, but we want to make them *great*, and we’re coding as fast as we can.
As an aside, the comment about Twitter is interesting — that Huber’s going to use Google+ primarily instead of Twitter. Some have speculated that Twitter is more vulnerable to substitution by Google+ than Facebook. We’ll see.
On the original point of the forthcoming Business Pages: as Mike says this is a great deal to ask of SMBs. I agree; It adds yet another thing for them (or their marketing surrogates) to do. However it does give Google a “social media” product for SMBs that the company currently doesn’t have.
Places are not really social, despite Google’s efforts to make them so at the margins. But many SMBs are already invested in Places so the question would be how to combine or cross reference.
Facebook is trying to merge Pages and Places for SMBs by getting them to claim Places. This is a long, tough slog without local sales channels doing the heavy lifting on the SMB’s behalf. Google will need to be very thoughtful about the crossover or interaction between +Pages and Places.
On a related note, the Android Google+ app has a check-in feature that allows users to to publicly check in or show only selected groups of people your check-ins. Currently Google users can also check in through Place Pages or the Places app and with Latitude.
Will Google merge or integrate some of these things or allow them to co-exist? It’s unclear. But having too many entry points for SMBs would be a problem. They want more simplicity not more stuff to do.