A screen shot of the Google social network on June 28. (Reuters )
Google Inc. is asking businesses, nonprofit groups, universities and other organizations and groups to stay away from using its new Google+ social networking feature — for now.
A number of businesses are creating Google+ pages even though the new social networking service is intended for use by individuals, said Christian Oestlien, head of advertising for Google+.
"Right now we're very much focused on optimizing for the consumer experience, but we have a great team of engineers building a similarly optimized business experience for Google," Oestlien said on his personal Google+ profile page.
"We're very excited about it and we hope to roll it out later on this year," he said. "It will include things like rich analytics and the ability to connect that identity to other parts of Google that businesses might use on a daily basis."
But for now Google is looking at testing the business pages with selected companies before it rolls out such an offering to all the enterprises that want it.
"We will be doing some testing," Oestlien said. "We're going to take a small group of brands, businesses and other entities and create profiles for them and see how users interact with them via circles, through the stream and even how they communicate with them through hangouts."
The social-media friendly Ford Motor Co. is among the businesses that have a page set up on Google+ — though it looks like a personal user profile.
Businesses interested in testing business-specific Google+ pages have to apply for the early entry using a form made available by Google online.
"The business experience we are creating should far exceed the consumer profile in terms of its usefulness to businesses," Oestlien said in his post. "We just ask for your patience while we build it. In the meantime, we are discouraging businesses from using regular profiles to connect with Google+ users."