Google+ took another step backwards this week when they asked businesses to hold off creating accounts in their new social network. They say it’s for your own good, because the current system is designed strictly for personal profiles.
Google+ blogger Christian Oestlien had this to say:
We’ve seen some really great companies get involved. But frankly we know our product as it stands is not optimally suited to their needs. In fact, it was kind of an awkward moment for us when we asked Ford for his (or was it her?) gender!
How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both. We have a great team of engineers actively building an amazing Google+ experience for businesses, and we will have something to show the world later this year.
While all of this is true, it does make you wonder why they didn’t think this thing through before launching. Surely, they knew that marketers would jump at the chance to get in on the next big thing. At this point, they’re asking that “non-user” entities sign up for a test program but that sounds rather slow and ominous, doesn’t it? Then there are all the small businesses who pay to use Google Apps. Doesn’t it make sense to roll those people right into the program? Same for Google Places users.
The advantage Google has over other social networks is that it already has a large collection of supporting sites and tools that should make it easy to connect and without a lot of effort on the part of the user.
If Google+ can loop in Blogger, Adsense, Google Checkout, maps, places, search, photos etc, it could be the most powerful social network out there, especially for businesses.
In the meantime, Google has said that they will shut down non-user profiles, which could include early adopter Ford who already had events scheduled inside the network.
Yes, Mr. Oestlien, awkward, indeed.