Google+ for businesses: Top 10 reasons why it can be "amazing"According to Christian Oestlien, a developer on the Google+ project team, Google will launch dedicated pages for businesses to connect to its customers later this year and other features it will boast of, are worth the wait. "We have been watching Google+ take shape over the last week and we've seen some really great companies get involved," Oestlien said in a blog post. "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!" "How users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and we want to create an optimal experience for both," the Google+ developer added. "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." So what does Google+ have that makes Oestlien speak so confidently? Google+ boasts of several useful features and presents endless possibilities:
 CirclesWith Circles, Google+ Business Profiles will be able to manage their contacts better. With Facebook, everyone is a friend, be it your father, mother, brother, sister, boss, boss' wife and your boss' cat even! But with Circles, you can easily organize your social network by grouping contacts into anything you can possibly imagine - "customers," "agents," "fans" etc - the possibilities are enormous. The groups can be formed by dragging the contact's picture/photo over a circle that represents the group (a group of people can also be dragged over a circle!) In other words, Circles will allow Google+ Business Profiles to focus on the things a subset of the profiles' contacts are interested in and will help them to separate the signal from the noise. This could be Google+'s biggest strength as it the biggest problem with not only Facebook but with Twitter as well.
 StreamIt will allow Google+ Business Profiles to see instant updates from the contacts in their Circles.
 SparksIt pulls in stories, videos and other cool content on the Internet relating to your specific interest. This is a huge strength of Google+ because it can leverage the world's most powerful and biggest search engine. Facebook has had a huge headstart as a social network site BUT it has little or no penetration into the search market and that's why its existing news feed is likely to look like a poor country cousin, compared with Sparks.
 HangoutsPerhaps the greatest strength of Google+, the video chat allows up to 10 users to see and talk to one another at the same time. The one with the loudest voice gets to take the centerstage. Hangouts can be the future of webinars and despite Facebook announcing the integration of Skype videoconferencing, nothing will be able to beat Hangouts, at least for now.
 HuddleIt allows group chatting on mobile devices. Group conferencing on mobile phones on the go? Why not?
 IntegrationA major strength of Google+ and its advantage over Facebook is integration. Almost all the existing Google online services, from Search and Documents to Email (Gmail) and Video, will be built into Google+ social networking features. It will allow the user to monitor all Google+ events in such a way so that the user never misses out on anything, anywhere, anytime.
 SearchGoogle's most powerful weapon is its unrivaled search engine, imitated by many but mastered by none. If Google integrates its own Google+ live feed into Search, businesses will have an incentive to use Google+ Profiles with the hope that they'll have a better chance to appear real-time, organically on a user's (potential customer/client?) search query.
 AdvertisementsGoogle's AdWords has proven to be the best advertising platform on the Web in terms of ROI and if Google integrates it into Google+, it will help businesses reach to a wider, more targeted audience.
 Mobile payment & E-CommerceGoogle has launched Google Wallet, a mobile payment system that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and Groupon-rival Google Offers. If Google can successfully integrate them with Google+, it will not only mean increased sales for businesses but also the business owner will be able to better track the purchasing habits of its customers/clients (Google Analytics can do that but with Google+, tracking customer behavior will become better and easier). As for Google Checkout payment system, if Google can integrate it into Google+ for businesses, Facebook will likely cry "uncle," because its e-commerce plans have so far failed to gain traction and it has decidedly left products database and payment methods to 3rd-party services to handle, choosing instead to focus on developing content sharing and communication among its users.
ConclusionIn conclusion, Google+ for businesses is expected to become an instant hit as it would look to imitate or even better what Facebook offers to business organizations - dedicated, branded pages for businesses to reach out to customers within the context of online social network (a company's customers can post on the company's Facebook page and the company can also reach out to customers with discounts, promotions and offers). Not surprisingly, besides Ford, other brands such as MTV and tech blog Mashable have already signed up as Google+ users. Meanwhile, Google+ has already caught Facebook's attention and founder Mark Zuckerberg made no attempt to conceal it. "You're going to see a lot of companies who haven't traditionally looked at social networking, not just companies like Google," Zuckerberg said Wednesday, while announcing Facebook-Skype partnership. Oestlien said Google will be teaming up with some named marketing partners "to see the effect of including brands in the Google+ experience." The small, select business group will test how users interact with business Profiles and try out Google+ services like Circles and Hangouts. However, till then business organizations should resist the temptation to register on Google+ using Profiles made for private individuals. "The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses," Oestlien wrote. "We just ask for your patience while we build it." For now Google+ remains a consumer-oriented social networking service. But Google+ for businesses has the potential to be "amazing." Interested in Google+ for businesses? You can sign up here What do you think? Is Google+ for businesses "amazing"? Will it upstage Facebook? Leave your comments below.
Google+, the new social networking service from Internet search engine giant, is threatening to replace Facebook as the world's No.1 social networking site if the insane demand Google+ invites have received is any indication.
And if Google+ is good, Google is promising that its Google+ for businesses will be amazing, though Google+ itself, is still in the beta version.
Is it a hollow boast or does Google have something hidden up its sleeves that can help it beat Facebook?
Click on the slideshow to find out whether Google+ is good enough to beat Facebook and especially whether Google+ for businesses has what it takes to be really amazing.