If you've been concerned that your favorite brand of soap doesn't have enough exposure, Google just announced Google+ Pages.

The formal announcement this morning is another tactic by Google to steal some of Facebook's social-media thunder. Facebook has long had pages for brands, organisations, and musical acts. Google+ Pages is pretty much the same thing, but takes it to the next level with Direct Connect from search results. Users just add a (+) to the beginning of their search (for example +Toyota) and users will be directed to that Google+ page.

Google hopes that companies will utilize their social features including hangouts. To get the ball rolling, you can hang out with Ms. Piggy and Kermit the Frog on the Muppet's Google+ page at 4:30PT today. Seriously, who can resist the allure of hanging out with the Muppets?

Only a few companies have Google+ Pages at the moment and in true Google fashion, there is no set date when other companies will be able to create their own page. [Google]