Google+ has attracted more than 40 million users since its launch a few months ago but, in some respects, the jury is still out about whether can establish itself as a tier-one social media service.
For the new features that Google+ has unveiled, Facebook has countered with similar features. Competition is always a good thing but the challenge facing Google is getting enough traction that it can move beyond the early-adopter and the curious to become an entrenched part of the social media landscape.
In this context, it will be interesting to see the impact of the launch of Google+ Pages yesterday. Like Facebook Pages, which are poised to go through a major overhaul that will make them look more like Web sites, Google+ Pages give companies another social presence they can use to deliver content, drive engagement and build relationships.
Easy to create, Google+ Pages give companies another way to integrate themselves even deeper within the Google ecosystem. At the same, it will provide companies with a vehicle to marry social media and search, which is a good thing given the growing emergence of social signals in search.
Not surprisingly, Google+ Pages received mixed reviews. Slate, for example, contends that Google+ Pages won’t save Google+ because Google+ is attracting enough traffic to make the service valuable or interesting. On the other hand, ClickZ suggests there are lots of reasons to care about Google+ Pages.
Regardless of where you stand on Google+ Pages, Google had little choice but to launch them given the popularity of Facebook Pages. As important, Google is counting on the growing appetite by companies to enhance and expand their social footprints to drive Google+ Pages and, in turn, give consumers more reasons to embrace Google+ Pages.
So what do you think? Can Google+ Pages jump-start Google+’s growth and adoption by companies and consumers?
More some tips on what to do before getting a Google+ Page, IT Business offers up five things you need to know.