New user profile functionality might indicate that Google+ is close to getting brand profiles (aka business profiles).
We know that back in July Google began building a set of “non-user entities” (companies, brands, etc.) who were selected to help with the setup and testing of brand profiles; Ford and MTV were specifically mentioned. For a short period of time you could apply to be in the test group, but the “Google+ Entity Profile Application” has since been disabled. Could Google be close to rolling out their version of brand pages? +Steve Rubel shared a video today that shows some new features already active on users profile pages that might indicate the answer is yes.
Both the Employment and Education sections of your profile now have dropdown boxes that show pre-populated sets of data. The dropdown has autocomplete so as you start typing is begins to show narrow your search for you. (Oddly, when I simply hit the down arrow, Pokemon was the first thing that showed in my list under Employment… which I found both odd and funny).
Google was very clear that non-user profiles (business pages) were not to be created when Google+ first launched. Several high profile sites had their profiles disabled, and were forced to use a “real name” in order to be active on the social network. For instance, Mashable was not allowed to have a profile, they had to create one under Pete Cashmore.
So this could be a sign that Google is close to rolling out brand pages… or it could be a feature to help users enter data faster. Either way you can test it by editing your profile and adding a new entry under Employment or Education, or by watching the video below.