Google+ clears the decks for business service

While Google scales up its consumer trial, it has plans for a separate business service, and is cracking down on companies that have created profiles in a bid to keep the two realms distinct

Google is preparing a business service for its nascent social network, Google+, though it will require a different form of profile than those used for individuals.

Google+ screenshot

Google is preparing a business service for its nascent social network, Google+, though it will require a different form of profile than those used for individuals.

The business variant is set to launch later in the year, Christian Oestlien, the advertising lead for Google+, wrote in a post to the network on Thursday. In the meantime, Google will run a trial of the service with some of its marketing partners.

With the service, Google hopes to show "businesses the advantages of extending their identity across Google and Google products", Oestlien said in a comment on his Google+ post

"It will include things like rich analytics and the ability to connect that identity to other parts of Google that businesses might use on a daily basis, like AdWords," he added.

Google+ is the search giant's attempt to take on Twitter and Facebook and gather the valuable social information that people create online. When the business variant launches, companies will need to create a Google profile that differs from a person's profile, according to Oestlien.

Google believes how individuals communicate with one another is "different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both", Oestlien wrote.

Shut down non-user profiles

In an attempt to keep the consumer and business realms separate, the company is discouraging businesses and brands from building profiles on the platform before it launches its dedicated service. At the moment, the social network is in a limited trial aimed at individuals.

"Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles," Oestlien said.

Individuals can report profiles they suspect are "behaving inappropriately" by clicking the "report this profile" link on the bottom left-hand side of the profile page, he said on the comment thread.

"Some of the existing profiles might be included in our testing," Oestlien wrote. "We'll be reviewing everything on a case-by-case basis once we have a sense for user interest."

For some, the clampdown has already begun. Sophos's security expert Graham Cluley wrote on his Google+ page on Thursday: "Ouch! Google+ zapped our Naked Security page. I wonder if big brands like Ford and Mashable will be next?"

Those classed as non-user entities — business organisations, places, teams and so on — can apply to be a part of the trial via an online form.

"The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses," Oestlien said. "Right now, we're very much focused on optimising for the consumer experience, but we have a great team of engineers building a similar business experience for Google+."

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