I complained earlier in the week about Google Plus being such a closed beta community, that it almost wasn’t worth using as a social network. But now, Plus has opened for another huge wave of invitations over the last few days, rendering many of my complaints moot. I now have several friends and contacts on the service, and you might too. But if you’re a business, the Google Plus experience just isn’t ready for you yet, at least not according to Google.
Google Plus For Business?
If you’ve created a Google Plus account for your business, you might have found it a little less than the perfect match. It’s not that they’re against businesses using Google Plus. Quite the opposite. They’re hard at work on features and add-ons that will make the Google Plus experience a whole lot more sensible and useful where businesses are concerned. But for now, it’s really only aimed at consumers.
In a post from Christian Olsten, Product Manager on the Google Plus project, the issue is addressed first with humor:
“We have been watching Google+ take shape over the last week and we’ve seen some really great companies get involved. But frankly we know our product as it stands is not optimally suited to their needs. In fact, it was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!”
He goes on to speak about the differences in the way we interact with businesses and other individuals. Google knows that the business experience on Plus needs to be different in many ways if companies are going to use it to connect to customers. So they are working and testing, creating a Plus that works for businesses and other “non-user entities.”
Businesses Encouraged To Wait On Google Plus
Until that is ready, they’re actually discouraging you from creating a Google Plus profile for your business, going so far as to say they’ll be actively shutting down any profile that isn’t for a user (individual). So… no Google Plus for you… yet.
They are, however, conducting some tests. And they’re even accepting businesses applications to be part of those tests–you can sign up here. Even if you don’t want to be part of a testing group, those who sign up will be the first alerted when the new business version of Plus is available.
Until Google Plus Features For Business Arrive…
In the meantime, it’s not like you can’t use Google Plus for business purposes. For instance, I worked for a company that had every employee set up Google accounts so we could utilize Google Talk for quick and easy business communication throughout the day. Businesses with employees on Google Plus could easily find plenty of business purposes for something like Hangouts, or even using Circles to send work-related Stream updates to only those important co-workers.
If Google Plus is going to challenge Facebook, or even try, they’ll eventually need to put in some features that give the millions of small and large businesses out there a reason to switch. Which means… obviously they’re working on something to do just that. They’re not stupid. So, if you’re a business… hang tight. Google Plus is still young, and a version that adapts better to your company’s social networking needs is on the way.