Google has launched a service that allows businesses and corporate brands to create special web pages within its Google+ social network, enticing visitors to spend more time on the site and potentially rival the service offered by Facebook.
The service, called Google+ Pages, will soon be available to any organization. Until now, only individual users have been able to sign up for Google+. According to Google, 20 businesses, including Toyota, Pepsi and retailer Macy's, have already set up Google+ Pages.
Google+ business pages will be accessible from Google's web search engine, and from within the Google+ social network. By typing the plus symbol in front of a business’ name when conducting a Google search, users can be directly connected to a business’ Google+ page.
The service is launching as businesses show increasing interest in using online social services like Facebook to reach new customers and to cement relationships with existing customers through special offers and promotions.
Google has signed up more than 40 million users on Google+ since it introduced the service in late June, but Facebook still dominates the social networking market with more than 750 million users.