With its 40 million users to date, Google+ is a whopping social networking success for the company. Today Google announced it will be launching new services like integration of Google Apps accounts and is working on ways to let businesses and organizations have branded pages within Google+.
Some services, like Apps integration, are coming “in a manner of days,” But Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google, offered no formal time-table on the release date for Branded Pages service on Google+, when speaking at the recent Web 2.0 Summit that ended yesterday.
Google said its rapid growth, exacerbated by the lifting of the “invite-only” status of the new social networking haven in June, has delayed implementation of some key services like integration between Google+ and Google Professional Apps accounts.
At the Web 2.0 Summit, the company confirmed the 40 million user number, and confessed the stellar growth rate caught the company a bit off guard.
Branded pages would be a boon to companies looking to establish a presence on the new site, but details on availability are scarce at this point. Back when the service first started, many companies looked to establish a presence, in a kind of Land Rush mentality, only to be told the company wasn’t ready.
On Google’s official Blog site, Christian Oestlien said in a post on July 6,
We have been watching Google+ take shape over the last week and 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!”
So instead, Google said they were testing with a few companies and would have details available when they were ready.
Other key features soon to come according to Gundotra, include support for pseudonyms. The company will drop the “real name” policy on Google+, a requirement that keeps some users concerned with privacy, from signing up.
Google officially launched its Google+ service on June 28 with services like Circles that allowed a more segmented “friends” approach, going beyond the traditional Facebook features.