Google unveiled a peek at the new brand and businesses pages to “help [businesses] connect with the customers and fans who love you,” according to a company blog post announcing the change.
Since launching in July, Google+ has been telling brands to hold off on establishing a presence on the site until Google figured out a best way to implement them. Any company or brand will soon be able to create a page, although the link is not yet active.
Unlike Facebook, when subscribing to a page, the user won’t be bombarded with updates in their news feed as users will have to opt-in after liking a brand to receive updates. Like regular profiles on Google+, users will also need to select a “circle” to put them into.
Google+ also debuted a new search technique to drive users to brand pages. If someone adds a + in front of a company that’s on Google+ (e.g. +Pepsi), they will be automatically linked to their page.
Another feature is Google+ Ripples. Brands have access to a “ripple diagram,” a slick way of tracking who is linking to your page—something Facebook does not offer.
Reaction from around the Internet included typical praise from Myspace co-founder Tom Anderson, who lauded Google+’s brand page as “really smart” and a good place to keep up with what’s changing on the fledgling social network.
It’s too early tell how significant Google+ brand pages will become—especially since the site’s starting with some of the biggest and safest brands around—but the social community is at least taking the right steps forward to compete with Facebook.