Just because Google+ (news, site) started out low-key and personal, don't expect it to stay that way. The hinges are being oiled on the enterprise gates to welcome big business users and their advertising dollars.
Touting for Business
Google+ has seen a limited invite-only launch firmly aimed at the individual, but that hasn't stopped businesses big and small from trying to create accounts in their own name. This doesn't work under the current registration system, which is seeing users being banned for trying to trick the system.
Even in its limited early-version form, Google+ is attracting massive growth and with an iPhone app springing up, that strong growth should continue. So, where there's an audience, there will be brands, advertisers and others trying to connect with them -- which is part of the problem for such an early-stage product.
Still, Google will want to engage businesses, marketers and the enterprise at some point and the code is already in the works. A Google+ blog post highlights these efforts, from the perspective of companies trying to sneak in under the radar, the key point being...
We aspire to having great solutions for these (and many more) use cases. While this may appear as easy as the stroke of a policy pen (“Just let the businesses in!”), we think we can do better. We’re designing features for different use cases that we think will make a better product experience both for them and for everyone else. Please don’t misconstrue the product as it exists today (< 4 weeks since entering Field Trial) as the “end state.” We’re flattered that there’s so much passion and interest... and will continue to improve the product and innovate in ways that will hopefully surprise and delight."
Selling Out, or Upselling?
So, as Facebook generates massive interest for the likes of big brand names, movies, sports teams and all kinds of businesses, expect Google+ to offer the same things, in its own distinctive way in the not-too-distant future.
How will that work? A dedicated Circle for commercial entities? A new tab for entertainment-based accounts? Or a whole new metaphor for this level of interaction between users and larger groups?Whatever the result, it will be interesting to see how Google handles it, the numbers of businesses that arrive once it goes live and the commercial opportunities for all concerned.
For now, Google+ is fun enough as a personal space, slowly growing as your old friends turn up in the new world. Do you think that the commercialization is inevitable or should be discouraged? Assuming it is inevitable, how do you think Google should handle the arrival of businesses and products?