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Google Plus starts service for businesses, brands

New York: Internet giant Google Inc has decided to extend its social networking service, Google Plus, for businesses and brands also, in addition to the individual users being tapped till now. With its latest initiative, the US-based firm is looking to bring large global brands, as also local businesses, on its Google Plus platform to promoter their products.
To start with, about 20 businesses such as Pepsi, Toyota and Barcelona Football club have already set up special pages on the Google Plus social network, the company said. Dubbed as ‘Google Plus Pages’, the new service would help businesses create a presence on the social network platform for connecting with their users locally and worldwide.
“So far Google Plus has focused on connecting people with other people. But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about?from local businesses to global brands — So we’ re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide,” Google Senior Vice President (Engineering) Vic Gundotra, wrote in a blog post. Google Plus business pages will be available through both on the social network and as well as through Google’s web search engine.
Google said that users would need to add a plus symbol, followed by the page they are looking for, such as +Toyota. The search, called Direct Connect, only works for a limited number of pages but that “many more are coming.”
Social networking major Facebook already allows businesses and brands to connect with their customers through its ‘Like’ button.
Google Plus has attracted more than over 40 million users since it initial launch in June for select users, indicating a huge interest in such services from internet users. The service was opened to general public on September 20. Rival Facebook, which dominates the social networking space, took three years to reach the 25 million users mark and crossed 50 million active users mark in October 2007.

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