Social Networking | News

Google+ Adds Pages for Organizations

Google has launched pages for Google+ to give organizations a presence on the social network. Previously, only individuals were allowed on the platform.

"Your business, school or nonprofit can post updates and news, send tailored messages to specific groups of people, and engage in conversations with customers and followers," according to a post on the Official Google Enterprise Blog.

Some higher education institutions, such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oregon, have already launched pages.

The new pages are similar to personal accounts, or profiles, but there are significant differences:

  • Pages cannot add profiles to their circles unless they are first followed or mentioned by the person who owns the account;
  • Privacy settings for pages are set to public by default;
  • Pages have a +1 button on them, but they cannot +1 other pages or anything else on the Web;
  • Pages cannot share posts to extended circles, a feature that allows profiles to push posts into the streams of everyone in their circles, and all of the people in their circles;
  • Pages don't receive email, text, or Google bar notifications;
  • Mobile hangouts are not enabled for pages; and
  • Local pages have a feature designed to help people find their location.

Pages do not currently support multiple administrators, transfer of ownership, or analytics, though Google+ team member Dennis Troper said in a post on the network yesterday that they are working on those features. "You can look forward to many more features and improvements in the coming weeks and months," Troper wrote.

Launched alongside pages are badges and direct connect. Badges are icons that can be added to a Web site and allow visitors to add an organization's Google+ page to a circle without leaving the Web page.

Direct connect allows users to search specifically for Google+ material by placing a + at the beginning of queries. Users also have the option of having pages that they've arrived at through direct connect automatically added to their circles.

"If you decide to have pages automatically added to your circles when using Direct Connect, they'll be added to your 'Following' circle," according to information in Google's help center. "If you don't have a circle named 'Following,' you'll choose the circle you want to add the page to every time."

Users can also modify the settings that determine how pages are automatically added to their circles.

Currently, direct connect is only available for some users, and only works with a limited number of pages, though information in the help center says that the feature will be more widely available "as time goes on."

"A page’s eligibility for Google+ direct connect is determined algorithmically, based on certain signals we use to help understand your page's relevancy and popularity," according to the help center. "In addition to this analysis, we look for a link between your Google+ page and your website. To help Google associate this content, be sure to connect your Google+ page and your website using the Google+ badge, or by adding a snippet of code to your site, in addition to adding your website link to your page."

More information is available at the Official Google Blog and the Official Google Enterprise Blog.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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