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July 08, 2011

Google+ For Business Users in the Works

By Laura Stotler, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Business users looking to take advantage of the much hyped Google (News - Alert)+ set of social communication services will have to wait a bit longer than personal users, who have been trailing the new network this week in limited numbers. In a series of blog and video posts this week, the company said it is working to make the new services strong enough for the enterprise, but a business edition probably won't be available until later this year.

Google+ project manager Christian Oestlien wrote a blog post earlier in the week about how the new network will shape up to support business usage. “How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both,” wrote Oestlien. “We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year.”

Oestlien said the business experience the company is building for Google+ will exceed the consumer profile and asked for patience while the company works on the enterprise version. He added that Google is discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users and that the company’s policy team would be working with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.

In a video post, Oestlien said the business version of Google+ will include features like rich analytics as well as the ability to connect a company's identity with popular Google business products like AdWords.

The company plans to run a small experiment with a select few marketing partners over the next few months to examine the impact of including brands within the Google+ Environment. The pilot will begin with a small number of named partners. Google is inviting “non-user entities,” defined as businesses, organizations, places and teams to apply for consideration for the limited program via an online signup form.

Commenting on his post, Oestlien described the business services, “We'll be working on producing a business experience that is more unique to the Google+ experience and will focus on showing businesses the advantages of extending their identity across Google and Google products. Unfortunately, we can't go into much greater detail at this point.”

In another comment early this morning, Oestlien said thousands of businesses, brands and other organizations had expressed a desire to be part of Google+ within the past 24 hours, and that the company was extremely grateful for the interest and input.

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Edited by Jennifer Russell
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