Enterprise Social Tools Added to Google+

The new features, including tools that can restrict posts so they are visible only to certain users as well as integrated video conferencing, will be available for free through 2013 for Google Apps customers.

Google is aiming to bolster the appeal of Google+ to businesses by adding innovative workplace tools. The new Google+ features include giving business users the ability to control who can see their posts on Google+, video conferencing that''s integrated with other Google Apps, and new administrative controls over posts and who can view them, according to an Aug. 29 post on the Google Official Enterprise Blog.

Google is launching the first set of Google+ features designed specifically for businesses, and is making them available first in a "preview mode" to Google Apps customers through the end of 2013.

When users post in Google+ today, they don't have the ability to restrict who can see their posts. Using the new tools, that will change, enabling users to mark posts as restricted only to certain users. In July, Google gave its Gmail service a huge enterprise productivity feature -- the ability to conduct multi-way video chat using the Gmail interface. Up to 10 users at one time can participate in chats in what Google calls "hangouts."

Under the new service offerings, users will be able to add their hangout chats to their Google Calendar events, which will also allow attendees to join the meeting directly from the invite or from the Calendar entry, according to Google. Users are also now able to open a Google Doc inside a hangout so participants can collaborate on it right there.

For businesses, the new administrative controls are important for enterprises that want to have a direct say over who can see employee posts within a company, according to Google. By integrating such controls, the new Google+ and Google Apps tools can be seen in a more positive light for companies that are concerned about access issues. The controls can also be used to set restrictions on hangouts for online meetings within the company.

This article was originally published on 08-30-2012
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