A beta for Google+ profiles for businesses is coming much sooner than expected, and the beta will be available to “EVERYONE” announces Christian Oestlien, Google’s Group Product Manager, on Google+ .
Oestlien says that the volume of applications for the beta was so large that they felt it was important to allow any business to enter the beta, and that beta will be available “in the next few months.”
The change of heart comes after anger about Google’s apparent favouritism towards organizations like Ford, Mashable and ourselves from Jason Calacanis and others. Google+ has shut down and reactivated these accounts on multiple occasions — our own was shut down a few weeks ago before suddenly becoming available again, and the same thing happened this morning after the most recent ban wave. We’re not too sure what’s going on.
It seems however that Google is encouraging businesses, for the time being, to pick a real person from its organization as a mouthpiece who can share links on the network.
Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land has said that Google should’ve had support for brands from the get-go and that the change to Google Profiles that precludes businesses from using them wasn’t a good move. He’s right that Profiles shouldn’t have been affected, at least until Google released a business profile solution, though in my opinion no company should be held to a feature set in early stage field testing.