Though Google had initially planned to test business partners on Google+ sometime in the next “few months,” it sounds like the Internet giant has decided to speed things up to next week. Could Plus be the social business network we've all been waiting for?
Wrote Christian Oestlien, a Google group product manager, in a blog post yesterday:
If you have not already, please be sure to submit your business for our test phase. We will be closing this form on Friday (July 15th) at 6pm PST. To the thousands upon thousands of businesses that applied to be a part: THANK YOU! We won't be able to accommodate everyone, but your interest has got us very focused on accelerating our development plans.
This deadline follows up Oestlien's request that brands not create Google+ profiles (check out the video below). Naturally more than a handful went ahead and did it anyway, including Ford, Breaking News and Mashable.
Accordingly, (and perhaps to prevent too much dissatisfaction) Oestlien and his team will be selecting a set of business partners for the test period next week, and will soon after announce their choices publicly. Again, those interested in being considered for the program have until Friday to get their applications in here.
The Enterprise is a Tough Cookie
As we noted last week, the use case for Google+ in enterprise land has a lot of potential. Circles allows you to post updates and share information with specified groups only, Hangouts approaches multi-user video chat with lots of room for spontaneous collaboration, and Sparks digs through the Web for articles related to a defined interest, making it easy for users to find relevant content.
However, it's important to note a couple of rough spots: Google+ is still in beta and needs a lot of users to make a significant impact. Secondly, though it will obviously connect at some point, Plus isn’t yet hooked up with one of Google's largest pool of Enterprise users— Apps accounts holders.
"The crunch will come if/when Google decides to charge for Plus as it should while addressing its enterprise privacy hangover," wrote Dennis Howlett. "There is a ready market of GAPE customers out there who I’m sure will be fascinated with what Plus has to offer and be prepared to pay."
We were all burned once when the excitement over Wave came came back around and bit an unpleasant place. Hopefully for Google the heavy demand for Plus won't yield the same letdown.