Google+ Now Available for Google Apps for Business Users
Google promised, and Google delivered: Almost exactly four months to the day after the Google+ social network launched, it’s available to Google Apps for Business and Education domains. The only caveat: the much-requested migration tool for users who want to move over their personal Google+ presence to a business account is still weeks away.
For those just joining us, Google+ is the search giant’s privacy-focused competitor to Facebook, with a strong emphasis on the ability to share certain content with specific so-called Circles of contacts. For instance, your workout buddies don’t need to see your complaints about your commute, and your coworkers don’t need those photos of you at the bar last night. It’s open for all users without the need for an invitation now, so feel free to try if you’re interested.
But here’s the scoop for those who’ve been waiting on Google+ to hit enterprises: Administrators just have to manually enable it in their settings, according to the Google Enterprise Blog. If you’re on the plan to automatically add new features as they’re available, Google+ will go live for you at some point over the next several days.
Users just have to sign up at google.com/+ with their Google Apps domain login. Oh, and enterprises actually get one bonus feature over the garden-variety version of the social network: Users can share with everyone in the organization, even if they’re not all in a specific circle.
As for that migration tool, well, as I noted, it’s still a little while away. But when it drops, it will allow users to migrate over without having to rebuild circles or needing others to re-add them. It’s just a shame since that was easily the most-requested feature of the enterprise availability.
“Absolutely we have been looking forward to the availability of Google+ for the enterprise. The ‘social enterprise’ is today where cloud computing was three years ago. Forward-thinking organizations are considering ways they can better integrate people, processes and technology. For companies that have already ‘gone Google,’ Google+ may be a terrific complement.”
So there you have it. Customers want it, and at least some of the cloud services channel is ready to start deploying it.
My big question: Google+’s APIs are currently highly limited, and the bulk of applications that run on top of the social platform are games. Meanwhile, Salesforce.com AppExchange is layering social apps on top of the Salesforce Chatter platform. Will cloud ISVs have the opportunity — or even desire — to expand Google+’s enterprise play?