This article was originally published on Smedio.
When Google+ launched, it was widely projected as the next big Facebook Killer. While that didn’t happen, Google did a remarkable job of exploiting Facebook’s weaknesses with innovative features such as Circles and Hangouts. The world’s leading social network eventually hit back in style and as time passed, the initial euphoria over Google+ begin to fade away.
All this while, I maintained that the true litmus test for Google+ would be in the business segment when it takes on the world’s leading social network head-to-head. To that effect, I questioned whether Google+ can stand the test of time and the intense competition from Facebook or will it die in its own course.
Yesterday, Google formally launched Pages for Google+, thereby setting the stage for a titanic clash with Facebook Pages. The idea is to let people interact with a business much as they would with people over the network. While Facebook Pages eventually proved to be a game changer, the fate of Google+ Pages remains to be seen.
None the less, Google and Facebook competing hand-on to grab a lion’s share of the enterprise segment promises to be a mouthwatering prospect.
What are Google+ Pages?
Google Pages can be classified into the following categories: Local Business or Place; Product or Brand; Corporation, Institution, or Organization; Arts, Entertainment, or Sports; and Other.
For personal users, Google+ Pages provides them with a means to give life to everything that we find in the real world. Pages can be added to circles, thereby creating a permanent association with other pages and people.
Google+ pages let businesses and brands connect with the customers and fans. Customers can +1 the Pages, add pages to their circles and even use the Hangout feature for face to face interaction with a business.
Google+ Pages can also be added to Google search results and users can use a Google shortcut called Direct Connect to search and bookmark their favorite pages.
Difference between Google+ Profiles and Google+ Pages
It’s important to understand the difference between Google+ personal profiles and Google+ Pages for business. The latter have a few restrictions such as pages cannot add people to circles until they themselves have been added first. Among other differences, Pages are by default public as opposed to profiles. Further, Pages lack the option to share to an extended circle. , Pages cannot play games, ‘+1′ other pages or take part in a video Hangout on a mobile device.
To know more on how you can build a Google+ page for your business, visit here.
Google+ Pages vs. Facebook Pages
Though Google+ Pages were launched yesterday, it already boasts of an impressive listing including Pepsi, Toyota, H&M, Macy’s, CNN program “Anderson Cooper 360,” the Dallas Cowboys, and the band Train.
If the early adopter list is any indication, Google+ Pages would make healthy competition for Facebook Pages. IMO, the ability of being able to do video Hangouts and the addition of Google+ Pages to search results are distinct advantages over Facebook Pages. When it comes to customer interaction, there’s nothing that beats a quick face-to-face chat and that’s where Facebook lags badly.
Several early reviews suggest that Google+ could one-up Facebook’s brand pages and Google Pages coupled with Google’s strong search ecosystem may prove to be a game changer. As much as I respect the opinions expressed on these popular technology sites, I think it’s too early to count the chickens.
What do you think of Google+ Pages? Do you believe that Google+ Pages poses a threat to Facebook Pages? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.