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No Business Plan: Google Boots Google+ Brand & Business Profiles

We’re fairly certain that Google+ will have a better fate than the acquired and abandoned Boutiques.com fashion social network, but it’s obvious that the search giant is still finding its footing when it comes to social media. Case in point: Google recently killed profiles for brands as diverse as Ford and Sesame Street, with no plans for business profiles for a “few months.” {Search Engine Land}

According to a post by Christian Oestlien, whose profile lists him as The Google+ Project Ads Guy (ironic), it never occurred to any of the brilliant minds in the Googleplex that brands, businesses, groups or other organizations that are larger than one person would want to participate.

“There may be a tiny handful business profiles that will remain in the meantime solely for the purpose of testing how businesses interact with consumers…The platform at the moment is not built for the business use case, and we want to help you build long-term relationships with your customers. Doing it right is worth the wait. We will continue to disable business profiles using regular profiles. We recommend you find a real person who is willing to represent your organization on Google+ using a real profile as him-or-herself,” says Oestlien.

Really? After the massive success of Facebook pages, it never once occurred to Google that if Google+ was going to offer itself up as an alternative to the dominant social network, a business option might be needed? And the solution is just “find a real person”? We can’t recall a single brand telling users to find them on Facebook and add their marketing manager as a friend.

Not to mention, when Google does open up to the public – which is expected to be much sooner than “a few months,” longterm usage and success will probably hinge on less tech savvy users being able to find and follow their favorite singer, or sports team, or news network, or favorite restaurant or any number of other accounts that really just don’t make sense on a personal profile – no matter how advanced or easy to use filters may be.

Recognizing that, Google reinstated Ford’s account, and made arrangements with Mashable’s Pete Cashmore to have him use the Mashable profile as a personal one. Apparently there’s no love for Big Bird and Elmo, because Sesame Street continues to return a 404. News Stream, a program on CNN International still has a profile, as does the Next Web so we assume they’re two of the arbitrary “tiny handful” of business profiles deemed suitable for testing. Meanwhile, the brands and businesses not deemed important enough to participate – Signature9 included – have been left wondering how something so obvious was overlooked in the first place.

Oh, and it’s pissing off the early adopters who’ve been helping Google+ achieve such rapid growth. Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media offers a summary of why playing favorites after creating a messy game isn’t the best move.

Can we at least convince a graphic design over at Google HQ to slap a beta label on this project?






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