Google has quietly announced in the Google Business Help forums that they have begun automatically upgrading some Google Places listings to the new Google+ pages with the added social features.
Google said in the updated thread that starting on August 20th, "some pages managed in the new Google Places for Business dashboard will be automatically upgraded to have social features."
Google did say they have and will "send out emails to users whose pages are automatically upgraded" to inform them of the change. But if you are worried you didn't get that email and you want to double check, if you can see the "Visit your Google+ page" in your dashboard, then you were upgraded.
Here is some additional details about the upgrade:
A personal Google+ account is not necessary in order to utilize social features on local Google+ pages that are automatically upgraded.
If the listing for your business is not automatically upgraded and you are interested in social features, you may be able to use the Google+ widget to upgrade the page manually. (You can read more about the Google+ widget in the update from April 11 on this post -- scroll up.)
Please first make sure you follow these criteria:
(1) You must have verified your business in your Places account.
(2) Your Places for Business email address should also have a Google+ profile.
(3) Your page must be in a category that is eligible for Google+.
If these apply to you, you will see a Google+ widget in your dashboard inviting you to upgrade. Simply click Get your Google+ page to upgrade. This will create a local Google+ page in Google+ that is tied to your Google+ account. You will be able to update this page from both Google Places for Business and Google+.
If you do not see the Google+ widget yet, or don’t have the upgrade link in your widget, sit tight while we work on getting a smooth upgrade process in place for you.
Hat tip to Linda for spotting this.
Forum discussion at Google Business Help.