Google+ Changes the Social Media Game for Business

The long-awaited Google+ debuted to select users Tuesday. The service is Google's latest introduction into the soirée as it tries to pull in some of Facebook's 600 million users with new features, clearer privacy guidelines, and intuitive ways to search and share content.

Of course, many of those users are already using Google's other services. When you create an account with Google+, you're given the option of uploading your albums from Picasa and your contacts from Gmail.

Granted, many of the platform's features are very similar to Facebook's: There are profiles and "friends," a "like" feature called , a news feed, and messaging. But Google is introducing a couple that might be enough to entice Facebook users to switch.

These include friend groupings, where a user can set who sees their posts, images, and other content. This is the most significant improvement that Google+ offers over its rivals. Users can also create video chat groups, and follow celebrities or other interesting people, à la Twitter. Finally, users can create pages of interests -- similar to personalized Google News pages -- which will stream relevant content directly into their social media platform.

So what does this all means for businesses? They can look to leverage the platform to communicate with customers and increase awareness.

Because the appeal of Google + is in its targeted sharing options, companies won't be able any longer to blast messaging across the platform through a few well-connected users -- often a good strategy on Facebook and Twitter.