Google’s social networking service is now open for businesses.

“So far Google+ has focused on connecting people with other people,” the search giant said in a blog Monday.

“But we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands—so today we’re rolling out Google+ Pages worldwide.”

The expansion is the latest feature on Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG)  Plus service to imitate what’s already available on Facebook, the leading website for sharing with family, friends and businesses.

“Google+ has always been a place for real-life sharing, and Google+ Pages is no exception,” the company says. “After all: behind every page (or storefront, or four-door sedan) is a passionate group of individuals, and we think you should able to connect with them too.

“For you and me, this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.”

Google unveiled Plus in late June to counter Facebook’s popularity and learn more about people’s interests. It 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 was open only to individuals. Google says more than 40 million people have Plus profiles. Facebook has more than 800 million users.

In addition to companies, celebrities and sports teams will be able to set up Google Plus pages just as they can on Facebook.

Google showcased the new Plus feature Monday with pages from 20 business, celebrities and sports teams. The initial list includes Toyota, the Muppets, the Dallas Cowboys, Pepsi and the pop music group Train.

Learn more about the new features here.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.