Months after kicking brands off of Google+, Google on Monday welcomed brands back onto their social network. A land grab ensued, and within an hour or two of Google pushing out the new brand pages, almost all major news organizations (and many, many smaller ones) had created brand pages. Being an early adopter on a social media platform seems to be key to getting lots of followers, so there was no delay here.
So far, most news organizations are using it in a similar way to how they use their Facebook pages — posting articles, asking questions of followers, etc. But it will be interesting to see how they use some of the features that are unique to Google+ — like hangouts and the ability to edit posts after they are posted (which can be used as a liveblog, among other ideas). For inspiration, take a look at this post from July about how Sarah Hill of KOMU-TV in Missouri uses Google+. (That station quickly joined today.)
Still, there are a couple of limitations that Google says they are addressing. For instance, there is no multi-admin support right now, so the only (legal) way to update a Google+ brand page is to have only one person doing it. There also is no way to transfer ownership of a page, so it’s unclear what would happen should a page owner change jobs.
My colleague Elana Zak asked a few weeks ago, “should we give Google+ another chance?” With the ability to for news organizations to finally engage with readers at this level, and with journalist pages to be included in Google News search results (as I noted last week), the answer, at least for me, is a resounding yes.