After a long wait, Google Plus has finally opened the floodgates to its Pages feature for all businesses, more than 100 days after it last updated anxious company owners about its intentions, InformationWeek reports.
Since its launch in June, Google Plus has signed up more than 40 million users - a far cry from Facebook's 800 million-person user base, but it nonetheless represents another outlet your company can use to gain leverage over your competition and inform current and potential consumers about your business.
So far, approximately 20 businesses have set up Google Plus pages, including Pepsi, H&M, the Dallas Cowboys and Toyota. Other pages already available to view include the band All-American Rejects, Angry Birds, Burberry, Fox News, WWE and the Phoenix Suns.
By adding Pages to your circle, you 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," Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of social, wrote on Google's blog. "Google Plus Pages give life to everything we find in the real world. We can (now) create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most."
If you aren't a business or corporation, fear not, Google Pages are also designed to accommodate other types of entities, including institutions and organizations in the arts, entertainment or sports industries.
Pages are also different from Google Plus profile pages because they provide owners with visitor demographics, shared posts, a notification when the +1 button has been used and other related analytics information to determine how effective a Page is at attracting new fans, InformationWeek reports.
However, there are some restrictions. Your Page can't add a person to a circle unless he or she has already added the Page or mentioned your company. You also can't endorse other pages with a +1 vote, play Google Plus Games, receive notifications or participate in a mobile device Hangout. It should be noted that Pages only supports one administrator at the moment, but may be able to support multiple administrators in the future.
The company's blog adds that a new feature called Direct Connect has been implemented to help consumers add pages to their circles via Google search. By simply entering a "+" sign prior to the page you're interested in adding, (for example, +Pepsi), you're immediately transported to their Google Plus page with the ability to add.