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Google Plus: What is it and is it Good for Business? :

Google Plus (or Google+) is a new project that aims to make sharing on the internet more like sharing in person. In essence, it’s a new social media platform, connecting people through Circles, Sparks and Hangouts. Currently it’s in a field trial period, and people can only join if they get an invite from other people (to feign exclusivity perhaps). And perhaps Google is expecting more people to be active when they join since they got an “invitation” from someone they know as opposed to creating an account because it’s the “in” thing to do right now.

Sixteen days after the project’s launch it already had over 10 million members. For comparison, it took Facebook 852 days to reach 10 million members, and it took Twitter 780 days.

Features like Group Chat and Circles help people manage their friends and make it easier for them to connect to multiple people at once – instead of having six different chat threads going it can be joined into one private chat room.

It is obvious this project is a challenge to Facebook’s dominance in the social media world. However, where businesses can have a presence on Facebook, Google Plus is not allowing a business to create an account right now. However, the speculation is that the opportunity will come before we know it. How businesses manage their future Google Plus accounts will differ greatly from their Twitter or Facebook campaigns, simply because Google Plus is not set up to have “Followers” or “Fans/Likes”.

So what does a business owner do in light of this new social media craze? The best advice would be to get on Google Plus as an individual and find out firsthand what it has to offer. Then get your friends and coworkers on there. When the time is right (and Google allows it), you will be ready to launch a meaningful business profile that generates excitement for your brand and website. And undoubtedly Google would factor a business’s presence on Google Plus into potential search engine rankings – again, when the time comes, so ready yourself.