With the successful launch of business pages on Google Plus, many users may be questioning what the big differences are? Is it simply a personal page, with the acceptance of special names and pictures for profiles? Are there any real differences at all?

Actually… yes, there are quite a few key differences between Business Pages, and Personal Profiles on Google Plus. Allow me to explain them in detail in todays Google Plus Breakdown.

For starters, some of the differences are actually a bit on the negative side, while others fall somewhere within what most people would consider the positive side. Either way, there are good reasons for these changes I’m sure, and with more time… we may come to understand them a bit better. Without further delay, let’s get started:

Pages can’t add people to circles until the page is added first or mentioned.

Business pages can’t just go around adding a bunch of people to circles. The people which are added by the page must also be in that person’s circles as well, or at least, have been already mentioned by that person. I’m not entirely sure what the reasons behind this is, but it could have something to do with possibilities of falsifying the popularity of a business. In any case, that’s what’s been implemented for Business pages.

Pages can be made for a variety of different entities whereas profiles can only be made for people.

Pages are very diverse, and can be created for almost any cause, organization, group, or entity of any kind. This diversity allows for a bit more freedom with the look and feel of the page, and gives businesses access to a couple other key features listed below

The default privacy setting for elements on your page profile is public.

This really isn’t a huge change, but by default, your business page is viewable by the entire world, and is labeled as “public” right from the start. Personal profiles aren’t this way by default, so It counts as a difference anyways.

Pages have the +1 button.

Pages have their very own +1 button, much like Facebook Fan Pages have a “Like” Button. The only difference between this and Facebook, is that you can share and +1 a page, without actually following updates from them (since they need to be in one of your circles for that). In this sense, Page Admins can get an accurate count on who is actually following them, and how many just happened to have clicked a little button and left. Knowing how many are actually following you can really be a comforting thing (or an upsetting thing I suppose, if nobody likes you). Moving on…

Pages can’t +1 other pages, nor can they +1 stuff on the Web.

Pages are not able to give a big +1 to other pages. That’s actually a really good thing, in my opinion, considering people could easily create hundreds of junk and spammy businesses just to get their popularity up. The more +1’s you have on the web, the more likely your page is to show up. It stands to reason that this process wouldn’t be allowed.

Pages also cannot +1 anything else around the web either, just to again help with the fact that things could just be wastefully spread all over the place by one single person, or a couple people with hundreds of pages. Granted, these guys and gals could just make a bunch of gmails, but at least that would required logging out and in all the time (it’s also unavoidable).

Business pages do not currently have the ability to comment on stories made by other businesses either, as this would likely lead to more of the spamming behavior we see on Facebook every day. No telling if this will apply forever or not.

Pages can’t play games.

I’m not entirely sure why this limitation is there, but then again I really can’t imagine why a business page would really need to have that function in the first place. People play games, Businesses don’t. That’s really all I can say about that.

Pages don’t have the option to share to ‘Extended circles’.

When you share something in the stream, you might notice an option to share with your extended circles. Your extended circles are like your circles’ circles. Content shared with your extended circles could appear in the Incoming stream of people who are one degree removed from you with certain conditions–basically meaning, Google will only include people whose association with people you know is already visible to you.

Allowing Pages to clutter up the streams of people their circles like, just because their circles like them would be ridiculous, especially in a place where you don’t need to be a persons friend, or even approve them, in order to have that person add you. It’s a very good idea to not allow this functionality in pages, even though I’d personally use the hell out of it with my own (further proving why it’s not there).

Pages don’t receive notifications via email, text, or in the Google bar.

Unlike your personal profile which gives you the option to be notified when something happens, you won’t receive any notifications of any kind with pages. You will have to manually check it to know if anything has changed. This isn’t really all that big of a deal though. Facebook fan pages don’t really update you either. Admins still need to check it, and it’s the same with a Google Plus Business Page.

Pages can’t hangout on a mobile devices

Pages can easily host Hangout sessions with their followers, much like personal profiles can. The only difference here, from what can be seen, is that Hangouts from pages cannot take place on mobile devices. I’m not entirely sure why this restriction exists, but perhaps the answers about it will come in the future.

My biggest request from Google Plus is about hangouts. I wish there was a way to broadcast the hangout to more than just 10 people, having the ability to have spectators who can contribute in the chat sections only. I haven’t had the opportunity to test Hangouts for Pages yet, but when i discover the limit for that, I’ll update this post here.

Local pages have special fields that help people find the business’ physical location.

One great perk about a Google Plus Business page is the added feature of maps, and the ability to have your entities location accessible for everyone. This can be handy when somebody needs directions, since the map is already embedded right into the page. By using it, they can get directions from where they are currently located if they chose, because Google Maps is awesome (on most days).

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So there you have it. The differences, as can be seen anyways, between Google Plus Business Pages, and personal profiles. If you do discover any more differences, please be sure to let us know on our Facebook Page, or visit us on our new Google Plus Page!

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