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Google starts rollout of Google+ for businesses

After months of waiting, Google+ invites enterprises, brands into the fold (see video below)

November 7, 2011 03:53 PM ET

Computerworld - Google is getting ready for businesses to start jumping aboard its Google+ social network.

The social network Monday began to roll out Google+ Pages to help businesses create a presence on the social network platform for connecting with their users locally and worldwide. Vic Gundotra, Google senior vice president of engineering, wrote in a blog post that users can add businesses to their circles, recommend them with a +1 and connect with business team members personally in Hang Outs.

"For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour," Gundotra wrote. "Google+ Pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most."

Google+ engineers appear to be gradually rolling out the new Pages. While some organizations, like the band Coldplay, already have signed up, not everyone can. Some users clicking on the link to create a business page receive the prompt, "Google+ Pages isn't ready for everyone," and asks users to "check back soon." Gundotra said in his blog post that everyone "will soon be able to join."

Google released its social network last June and a month later was asking enterprises and organizations to back off from using the site for business purposes.

"Right now, we're very much focused on optimizing for the consumer experience," said Christian Oestlien, a developer on the Google+ project, in a video blog posted last summer. "But we have a great team of engineers building a similarly optimized business experience for Google+. We are very excited about it and hope to roll it out later this year."

At the time, Google also put out a call for businesses that would be interested in acting as a test group so Google engineers could see how users want to interact with companies.

Keith Shaw chats with CIO.com's Kristin Burnham about the Google Plus Pages announcement.


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