The launch of brand pages on Google Plus is hugely significant, not only for the search giant itself but also for the future of social media and the internet it now controls.
As you read these words brands around the world will be rushing to create their Google Plus profiles.
And that is despite the fact that there are still only 40 million registered users, plenty of whom only log in to the network to post comments highlighting the lack of activity it hosts.
But the fact is that the network is growing, and as companies get involved and they add to the user experiences available on Google Plus it will continue to chip away at the better established social media sites.
Both Facebook and Twitter will be keeping one concerned-looking eye fixed squarely on the social media developments at Google over the coming weeks because although, on the surface, the task of dethroning these two giants looks impossible, if it is ever going to be done it’s likely only Google has the muscle to achieve it.
After all, its products are already so deeply engrained into our private and professional lives. And although Facebook can easily copy most innovations Google comes up with (segmenting fans with Circles, for example) in a bid to retain its already massive audience, there are some arenas in which Google is untouchable.
For example, Google Analytics, Maps and Ad Words campaigns will be made integratable with Google Plus brand accounts. That is a hugely compelling proposition for brands, and one Facebook and Twitter can never hope to emulate.
The biggest test of Google Plus remains whether or not it can persuade enough people to set up (and more importantly use) a new social media account.
Many say it can’t be done but Mark Zuckerberg will not be one of the people ascribing to this simplistic assessment. He has seen tech companies come and go and will not want to add his dynasty to names such as MySpace and Friendster.
Social media platforms are no longer simply battling over ownership of the spaces through which teenagers swap tales and pictures about their weekends. The stakes are so much higher now.
Ownership of the social media landscape means ownership of the internet itself, as well as a healthy slice of the increasing number of transactions and marketing activities it generates every day around the world. No wonder Google is placing such emphasis on capturing social engagement. The war has just begun.
Have you set up your brand page yet?
How relevant is it for B2B?
Do you think Google Plus is a greater threat to Facebook or Twitter?
And do you think the answers to these questions will be different in 12 months time?