With Google+ launching pages for brands yesterday, and instantly sharing a list of Google product pages for YouTube, Gmail and Google+ itself, tech blogs were all abuzz about the latest developments on the social network, and our own Drew Olanoff took an in-depth look at what Google+ pages means for Twitter.

As a wide variety of early adopters, including H&M, Fox News, FC Barcelona and even The Muppets, have flocked to Google+ to create brand pages, there’s one strangely restrictive policy they will all have to adhere to.

Google+’s promotion policy prohibits brands from running any promotions or competitions directly on their Google+ page. While brands will be able to link to promotions hosted elsewhere, the competition itself cannot be hosted on Google+. The policy states:

You may not run contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions (“Promotion”) directly on your Google+ Page. You may display a link on your Google+ Page to a separate site where your Promotion is hosted so long as you (and not Google) are solely responsible for your Promotion and for compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations in the jurisdiction(s) where your Promotion is offered or promoted. Your Promotion must not be run or conducted in a way which conflicts with the +1 Button PoliciesGoogle+ Privacy Policy or Google+ Pages Additional Terms of Service. Google has the right to remove your Promotion content from Google+ Page for any reason.

Facebook’s promotional policy is somewhat restrictive stating that “Promotions on Facebook must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com, either on a Canvas Page or an app on a Page Tab.” At the end of the day, brands are still able to host the competition on the social network, albeit under Facebook’s terms.

This move seems odd, as it could easily send any promotional traffic straight to a Facebook page when brands find that they are unable to host the promotions on Google+ itself.

Google+’s Real Name Policy proved to be a learning experience for the search giant, and while its Promotion Policy is certainly not as serious, it seems that the only party that stands to lose anything from such a restrictive stance is Google+ itself.

If you’re on Google+, be sure to join us on The Next Web’s brand new Google+ page here.