I just got an email that notified me that I can claim my customized Google+ URL. Instead of keeping the long string of numbers at the end of my Google+ ID, I now can have my company’s name, Crackerjack Scribe.
However, I must agree to the new terms of service before I change it. Those terms include the allowing of my profile and name to show up in what Google calls “shared endorsement” ads, which allows the use of a Google+ name and profile in ads whenever a user +1’s a post or reviews an item such as an album in Google Play. However, users can opt out of the shared endorsement ads.
Another thing that might happen with claiming a custom URL is that Google says that although now it’s free, in the future they might charge for the use of custom URLs. How soon that may happen is anyone’s guess. I am waiting for the time when Facebook will start charging businesses for Facebook pages. Same for Google business pages. Nothing is forever free–eventually this great thing we call social media is going to cost businesses much more than it does now, which is free, except when using ads by one of the social media giants (and the cost of using professional social media managers).
What do you think? How soon are businesses going to have to pay for social media pages and other aspects of the medium?