Google To Announce Business Profiles Trial This Week

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Companies selected to take part in Google’s business profiles trial will be informed this week

Google continues to close down Google+ profiles that are set up for businesses or brands, as corporate users await the launch of Google’s official business profiles.

Thousands of companies volunteered for Google’s business profiles pilot, before the closing date for applications on Friday. Google plans to select a “diverse set of business partners” for the test period this week, and will announce its selection to the world soon thereafter.

“I wasn’t kidding when I said the demand for this has been massive,” said Christian Oestlien, advertising lead on the team behind Google+, in an update on 14 July. “Our old form has filled up, so we created a new form for any businesses interested in applying.”

The pilot will run for a few months, in order to examine the effect of including brands in the Google+ experience.

Google closes branded user profiles

Meanwhile, as promised, Google is actively closing profiles that are being used by businesses. eWEEK Europe’s sister site Gizmodo France had its Google+ account suspended today, and administrators attempting to access the site were met with a notice stating that the name of the account violates Google’s community standards.

“How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both,” explained Oestlien in a blog post dated 7 July. “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.

“The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it,” he added. “In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users. Our policy team will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”

Anonymous shut down

This is no doubt the reason that notorious hacker group Anonymous was removed from Google+ over the weekend – that, and the fact that it was anaonymous. The hacker group seems to have taken it as a personal insult: “This is the sad fact of what happens across the internet when you walk to a different beat of the drum,” said Anonymous in a blog post.

The group is now working on its own social networking platform, called AnonPlus, which Anonymous claims “will not tolerate being shut down, censored, or oppressed – even in the face of blackout”.

Meanwhile, in spite of Google’s warnings, some corporate profiles on Google+ remain open. Mashable, for example, has a page up and running with over 55,000 users in its circles. Ford Motor Company also maintains its Google+ presence, despite Oestlien himself referring in his blog to an “awkward moment” when he had to ask Ford for its gender.

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