Technology

Google+ Tries Wooing Enterprise With Private Communities

In its latest bid to become the social network for everyone all the time, Google+ has rolled out a private communities function designed specifically for businesses, but with some definite perks for organizations.

In its latest bid to become the social network for everyone all the time, Google+ has rolled out a private-communities function designed specifically for businesses, but with some definite perks for other organizations, too.

Could the future of Google+ lie in the enterprise?

That’s what the search giant is hoping, as the company’s latest endeavor, restricted communities, is an effort to openly court businesses. More details below:

This is a major step for Google+ in getting more business users on board.

Circling up: Google+’s use of circles has always allowed for a unique degree of privacy, but with the newest changes, entire communities can be set up for private communication. “You can decide if your restricted community will be open to everyone at your company or private, joinable by invitation only,” notes Google+ Product Manager Michael Cai in a blog post. “While administrators can set restricted communities as the default for your organization, you can always choose to create communities open to people outside of your domain, so clients, agencies, or business partners can join in the discussion.” For associations, that might be volunteers or specific member groups.

Privacy perks: Users can share information—such as photos, videos, or documents—with community members. Unlike former Google+ communities, the information stays locked from the outside world, a huge perk for the enterprise space, according to TechCrunch‘s Frederic Lardinois. “Given that most businesses aren’t likely to use Google+ for their internal communication as long as there is a risk of information leaking out by accident,” he says, “this is a major step for Google+ in getting more business users on board.”

Competition already there: Google may have its work cut out for it in the enterprise space. While it has a few linchpins in Google Apps, Google Drive, and Gmail, the internal communication space is busy, with competitors such as the Microsoft-owned Yammer and 37signals‘ suite of communication apps, including Basecamp and Campfire. On top of this, LinkedIn has long been popular for private communities among organizations.

This isn’t the only way Google is expanding its social offering with the lingering perception problem: The company rehauled comments on its popular YouTube platform this week, with the comments plugging into Google+—by extension encouraging the use of identities in comments on the service.

(Google+ press photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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