Google+ to Brands: Not So Fast

Google has a message for marketers chomping at the bit to launch profiles on its infant social platform: Check yourself.

In the wake of ClickZ’s story about Ford’s early moves on Google+, the company is asking brands to hold off on setting up accounts until it releases business profiles – targeted for later this year.

In the next few months, Google said it will conduct its first experiment with marketing partners and has invited interested parties to sign up for that pilot. Its goal is to officially launch the first business profiles by end of year.

Meanwhile the Google+ policy team “will actively work with profile owners to shut down non-user profiles.”

In a post on Google+, Christian Oestlian, the guy in charge of ads for the project, wrote, “The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses. We just ask for your patience while we build it.”

Google is giving at least some early adopting brands the flexibility to wind down their accounts in a dignified manner. Earlier this week, Ford made plans to conduct video and group chats with some of its followers via the Hangout and Huddle features on Google+. And according to Scott Monty, Ford’s head of social media, those events will be allowed to proceed before the Ford Motor Company and Ford Europe profiles are deleted.

“[Google] said they were interested in seeing the hangout and live chats we’re planning today,” he said. “Obviously you can imagine a lot of the conversation around that will be about Google+’s decision as well as Facebook’s plans.”

Monty told ClickZ that Ford is working closely with Google to close down its accounts and to make sure it’s part of the pilot planned for the fall.

The notice comes as a growing number of brands, many of them for media companies, have begun experimenting with Google+. They include ABC News, Mashable, The Next Web, and Russian home electronics retailer M.video. Each of these entities went through the somewhat awkward process of creating Google accounts intended for users, which require details such as gender, age, and other details not suited to a brand entity.

Google also created this video geared toward eager brands:

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