Yesterday, Google launched brand Pages on Google+. Similar to Facebook Pages, Google+ Pages allow brands, products, companies, groups and others to create a professional presence in the social networking world. The only problem is, according to Google+’s Policies, it appears that Google will not allow brand Page owners to host contests or promotions directly on the social network itself.
Per Google’s Google+ Pages Contest and Promotion Policies section, Page admins are informed that they may not “run contests, sweepstakes, offers, coupons or other such promotions” on their Google+ Page. The alternative is to display a link on Google+ that points to a separate site where the Promotion is hosted. Although, in the Additional Terms of Service for Google+ Pages, Google retains the right to block or remove Pages that violate these terms, or, in the case of repeat violations, suspend a user’s Google account. Incidentally, Google also notes that it may without notice, remove any Google+ Pages that are dormant for more than nine months.
Google’s policy on promotions is vastly different from Facebook’s, where contests are permitted within published Guidelines. One of the requirements being that they must be administered within Apps on Facebook.com. But on Google+, it appears that Google wants no involvement with any of the legalities or liabilities of hosting contests whatsoever:
The obvious reasons being that Google is not ready to deal with the overhead, the spam or the potential fraud that contests would inevitably bring to the network. But it could also be a broader vision that Google has for its social network – one that ventures away from tricking users into “liking” (plussing or Circling) a band in order to win something (as is too often seen on facebook), but a social network where users and bands have a different type of conversation.
My hope is that this idea goes forward, too many times I see my favorite band or celebrity or company holding “like our page to win a product” contest which just ends up leaving my dashboard riddled with spam (which I could easily get rid of by blocking) but adds an unnecessary annoyance to what used to be simply filling out a form and hoping to get an e-mail stating I won. \