We’ve been playing around with Google+ for a few months now with mixed feelings about its usefulness. And while some of the tools look promising it still feels as though it hasn’t really taken off yet. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see that Google have launched pages for brands to set up and begin establishing a presence on the social networking site.
Obviously the likely candidates have already jumped in and created their pages, pushing out this new development to the world over twitter and their websites. While some of the bigger brands gained some immediate traction, it’s difficult to see how creating a presence on G+ is going to be add anything other than creating yet another area of engagement activity to maintain.
Once the immediate hype died down there has been little talk of G+’s usefulness, it seems people are still waiting to ‘get it’. So it’s unclear what including brand pages will add to the experience.
Many have likened to the new pages to bringing Facebook and Twitter functions into one place. But if you already have a Facebook and Twitter page, what’s the point in setting up another one? Perhaps this is the question Google are trying to answer and how quickly brands engage with the new feature will give them a good indication as to its viability.
One thing which Google does bring to the table though is a new function it calls Direct Connect, the ability to find a G+ brand page easily from a Google search. All that’s needed is to enter a ‘+’ and the brand name and Google will link you straight to the brand G+ page. It’s a neat little tool, but it shows how Google can manipulate search rankings when it owns its own social network.
Google+ is still a bit of a mystery, or rather its benefits remain a little out of reach. But it will be interesting to see how the new feature brings more of the answers we’ve been asking ourselves since it launched.