Google Plus ready to add business, celebrity pages

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Google’s social networking service is now open for businesses.

The expansion, announced on Monday, is the latest feature on Google’s Plus service to imitate something already available on Facebook, the leading website for sharing with family and friends.

Google Inc. unveiled Plus in late June to counter Facebook’s popularity and learn more about people’s interests. In doing so, Google hopes to gain insights that will help its dominant Internet search engine spit out more compelling results that keep people coming back to click on ads.

Until now, Plus had only been open to individuals. Google says more than 40 million people have Plus profiles.

Aside from companies, celebrities and sports teams also will be able to set up Google Plus pages just like they already can on Facebook.