Five months after the launch, and four months after giving businesses the boot, Google launched its Google Plus Pages for business owners and brands on its newfound social network Monday.
In an official post from Google’s blog on Monday, Google announced the inclusion of Google+ Pages which will “create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most,” according to Google.
“For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour,” Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra said. “Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world.”
The new pages feature will help customers connect with their favorite business and brands, which include celebrities, and keep Google in check with Facebook, which has its own version Facebook Pages which “gives a voice to any public figure or organization.”
According to Gundotra, businesses and brands with a Google Plus page can utilize the hangouts feature on the social network and connect in a unique way.
“Not only can they recommend you with a +1, or add you to a circle to listen long-term. They can actually spend time with your team, face-to-face-to-face,” he wrote.
In addition, a new feature called Direct Connect will feature Google+ pages in Google searches and the ability to directly find an organization’s page.
“Direct Connect makes it easy-even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you’re interested in (like +Angry Birds). We’ll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we’ll add them to your circles,” Gundotra wrote.
So far, Google touted 20 of its Pages users on Google Plus, ranging from Macy’s to Save the Children to The Muppets, who will host the first pages live hangout on Monday at 4:30 p.m. PT.
Google promises that eventually “any organization will soon be able to join the community.”
However, many critics have said when they clicked to create a page, they were redirected to an error message that read, “Google+ Pages isn’t ready for everyone” asking them to “check back soon.”
The error message comes just months after Google actually booted business profiles on Google+ from the social network. In July, Google removed Mashable, Sesame Street and others and warned not to create Google Plus profiles for “non-human” businesses.
The addition of Pages will undoubtedly expand the reach of Google+ once the new Direct Connect feature is set and more businesses create pages. Currently, Google Plus has 40 million users in comparison to Facebook’s 800 million.