Tonight Christian Oestlien, the Ads Leads for the Google+ Project, posted a message along with a brief YouTube video about future Google+ plans on his Google+ account. The video is just over a minute, but Christian covers a variety of topics. The most important of which is that users should refrain from creating business profiles.
In the video he states that:
“We have a great team of engineers building similarly optimized business experience for Google+. We’re very exited about it and hope to roll it out later on this year. It will include things like rich analytics and the ability to connect that identity to other parts of Google that businesses might use on a daily basis, like AdWords. So we are asking people to hold off on using consumer profiles to get a business identity on Google+”
He then mentions that there will be a test group of “non-user entities” (aka brands, corporations, places) who will be selected. To sign up for this test follow the instructions here.
So what if you have already set up a Google+ profile? Well, his Google+ update states that a Google Policy team will shut your profile down:
“The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”
So unless you are ok with setting up a Google+ business profile that will get shut down, all you can do is apply to be in the test group for “non-user profiles” and sit tight.
Postscript from Greg Sterling: Oestlien was interviewed about this subject in AdAge. He said that companies like Ford and MTV that already have pages that are being actively used won’t be taken down. In effect they’ll be “grandfathered” in:
Ad Age: So it seems Ford will be able to maintain its page and will be part of the test?
Mr. Oestlien: Yes. There are a subset of businesses that have been actively involved since the start — including Ford.
Ad Age: Which other big companies have been active on the site?
Mr. Oestlien: MTV. Some charities in Europe, and, of course, some of the online tech blogs like Mashable.
Ad Age: So will these guys also be part of the test?
Mr. Oestlien: Not just companies that have already set up pages. But also a lot of great businesses like Dell. They don’t have page up, but they’ve been hosting hangouts with our user-base.