Google announced in a post today on the AdWords blog that a new API for third-party apps will allow businesses to manage their branded Google+ pages through social media management services like HootSuite.

Initially the API will only be open to six partners including Buddy Media, Involver, Context Optional, Hearsay Social, Vitrue, and HootSuite. Starting with selects users, these services will allow businesses to manage their circles, make posts to their Google+ page, and monitor activity and analytics. On the Hootsuite website, for instance, features listed include the ability to manage circles, as well as “monitor, search, share, and post” right within the app’s interface.

The API will inevitably be opened up to more third-party apps after the initial experiment, and social media management companies can already click here to sign up. Below is an image showing Google+ integration in the updated HootSuite dashboard, which is probably the most in-depth solution, and it looks like just about every aspect of a Google+ page has been included.