Going Google with Google+

By Sarah Lokitis | Sep 10, 2012
More Articles by Sarah

Google+ continues to roll out new updates and this time those updates are for businesses. Google+ is a huge focus for Google’s “going Google” trend and in addition to starting to use custom URLs (finally!), Google made some announcements last week about more updates to the platform.

Google+ Hangouts Last week, Google announced Google+ features specifically meant for businesses. If you are part of the Google Apps program, you will have full free access until the end of 2013 as Google experiments with and tests these products. I’m guessing that in 2014, when you can’t live without these features, you can pay to use them.

The features include:

  • Hangout & Calendar/Doc integration
  • Private Sharing
  • Administrative Controls

Hangout & Calendar/Doc Integration

At Search Mojo, Google Hangouts are frequently used to communicate with colleagues as we have an office in Charlottesville, VA and a new Search Mojo office in Charleston, SC. We rely on Google+ Hangouts for face-to-face meetings because sometimes it’s just easier to discuss something face-to-face with a shared screen. The best part is that it’s free!

Google+ Hangouts aren’t just for business, but with these new features, businesses will be able to  add a hangout to a Calendar event and write and edit documents together using Google Docs. With the Calendar features, it’s now possible to join the meeting from the invite or Calendar event.

Private Sharing

Google+ posts (for just Apps users at this time) now have the option to be marked as restricted. Restricted posts will be private to your company and are not able to be re-shared with anyone outside. Note that screenshots can still be taken, so be sure to discuss this new feature with your company or review your policies with your employees. Google does indicate that posts can be set to restricted, in addition to setting it for specific people.

Administrative Controls

Since up to 50 people can have access to your Google+ Page, Google knows there is increased opportunity to mess up and share the wrong info. to the wrong people. To help combat this, new settings for administrators of the page are rolling out. These admin updates include the ability to set company-wide defaults for post restrictions and creation of restricted Hangouts to facilitate meetings with the organization.

What is Google working on next?
According to the official blog post announcement, Google+ enterprise users should expect to see a mobile version, as well as increased administrative controls in the coming months. Do you have any recommendations for updates Google+ should make next? I’d love to hear your thought! Find me on Google+ or on Twitter @Lokitis.

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