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Google for your business, organization or brand: Google Brand Accounts

If you have a business, organization, band or brand you can use Google's products to post content and interact with your customers, colleagues, members and fans. Currently you can use a Brand Account identity on YouTube and if you have an older Brand Account, for Google Photos.

Update May 2023:
Before you decide to use a Brand Account, note the updates since this article was originally published in 2018. The signs are that Google is likely moving away from using Brand Accounts for brand and business identities. Brand Accounts are currently useful for managing multiple YouTube channels with a single Google account, but not really anything else.

Update September 2022: Brand Accounts with direct sign-in using Hangouts will not be able to use Google Chat, so will lose access to conversations when Chat completely replaces Hangouts on November 1, 2022. 

Update July 2022: Business Groups will no longer be able to own or manage Brand Accounts as of August 1, 2022. Members of the Business Group can opt in to be a direct owner or manager of the Brand Account if they opt in before July 22, 2022.

Update August 2021: New Brand Accounts can only be linked to YouTube channels and will be designated as (limited to YouTube). This does not affect Brand Accounts created before August 4, 2021.

Update May 2020: New Brand Account owners will not be able to remove admins, undelete accounts, or change the primary owner for 7 days. (announcement)

Update January 2020: YouTube now lets you add a Manager or Editor to a channel that is NOT on a Brand Account.

Update July 2019: G Suite for Education no longer supports Brand Accounts. All Brand Accounts with a student account as the primary owner were deleted. Some Brand Accounts owned by teachers and other staff received an extension until July 2020. As of September 2022, those Brand Accounts seem to still be active. 

Update March 2019: Google will be shutting down Google+ for consumer accounts on April 2, 2019. All Google+ Pages will be deleted. Back up your Google+ Page data before then. Your Brand Account and YouTube channel will NOT be deleted.

What is a Brand Account?

You create a Google Account with your personal identity. Your name and profile photo are used across Google services, including Gmail, Hangouts, YouTube and Google+.

But you may need or want other online Google identities:
  • Business
  • Gamer tag
  • Writer's pseudonym
  • Band
  • Club
  • YouTube show
  • Blogging persona
You could create a new Google Account for each of those identities. But if you mostly want to use your identity on YouTube and Google+, it's easier to manage them all with a single Google account. You can do that by creating a Brand Account for each identity.

Here's why you want to use a Brand Account, rather than separate Google Accounts for your Google+ and YouTube identities:
  • One Google Account, multiple identities. All you need to do is switch between them. 
  • Managers use their own Google account. Each Brand Account is "owned" by one Google account, and can have multiple additional managers. No one has to sign in to your personal Google account to manage your YouTube channel or Google+ Page.If you run a business or organization, and don't want to have to manage all your social media yourself, using a Brand Account is essential. 
Note that long ago (2 Google years), you would have had to create a Google+ Page for each identity. Brand Accounts are independent of Google+, and can be linked (or not) to a Google+ Page or a YouTube channel.

Read on to learn how to create and manage Google Brand Accounts

Creating and Managing a Google Brand Account

Not all Google products support Brand Accounts. You cannot add a Gmail email address, use Google Hangouts, or post to a Blogger blog with your Brand Account identity.

Currently you can create a Brand Account along with a Google+ Page or along with a YouTube channel. Google Photos also supports existing Brand Accounts, but doesn't allow you to create one.

Update:  Brand Accounts created after August 4, 2021 can only be linked to YouTube channels and are designated as "limited to YouTube". 

Brand Account Management

YouTube Channels and Brand Accounts

Google+ Pages and Brand Accounts

As of February 5, 2019 it is no longer possible to create a Google+ Page.  All Google+ Pages will be deleted when consumer Google+ shuts down on April 2, 2019. 

Google Photos and Brand Accounts

Google My Business and Brand Accounts

 As of October 2017, creating a Google My Business listing does not create a Brand Account that can be used with Google+ or YouTube. Older listings may still have those options.

If you have a local offline business, you can create a listing for Google Maps and Search in Google My Business (now Google Business Profile) ( You can create posts to have your events, services and products appear in those locations.

Update: As of August 1, 2022, Business Groups can no longer own or manage a Brand Account. Individuals in the Business Group can opt in to become direct Brand Account owners or managers. 

Learn More About Brand Accounts

I recently appeared on the H&M Show to talk about Brand Accounts.  Watch the video below to see our discussion, with questions from the audience.

May 2023 update: Rewrote introduction.