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6/17/2014
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Google+ Launches Premium Features For Apps Customers

New premium version of Google+ for Apps customers includes additional controls and features for the social network and video conferencing platform, Hangouts.

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Google's 10 Big Bets On The Future
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Google has added a new premium version of Google+ for its enterprise and business users that include a handful of new business-specific features, the company announced in a blog post. These new features give admins more granular controls over Google+ sharing and new Hangouts capabilities.

If admins choose to activate Google+ premium features, they'll gain additional control over what's shared outside the organization with a new default setting. Admins can choose from "unrestricted," which means posts and communities are visible to those outside the organization; or admins can make the default setting for new posts "restricted," which means only members can view posts and communities.

By default, users can start a Hangout On Air from within Google+. By enabling the premium version of Google+, admins can restrict access to Hangouts either for the entire organization or enable certain settings for different organizational units, it said.

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Admins can also control whether users' profiles can be indexed by search engines in the premium version of Google+. If the Profile Discoverability option is checked, search engines are allowed to list users' profiles in search results. If admins disable this option, people outside your organization can only find profiles if they know an email address or profile URL, Google said.

Other new features for admins include controlling whether third-part apps can make use of Google+ APIs, seeing which users have Google+ profiles, and correcting the age of users who entered in the wrong one when they signed up.

The premium version of Google+ also gives users additional capabilities. All Google+ users in your organization can update their own profile discoverability setting; join video calls by URL or just with the Hangout name; create a Hangouts video call that is private to their domain; and start Hangouts video calls from calendar events with up to 15 people, Google said.

"These changes will let organizations do two things: first, you'll have a more tailored Google+ experience with enhanced control options," said Michael Cai, product manager at Google. "Second, you can save time and money while meeting face-to-face with colleagues and using 15-person HD video calls with Google Hangouts," he said.

Admins could preview these premium features before, Cai said, but couldn't enable them until now. All new Google Apps customers can access these updates when they register, while current users will gain access to the updates in the next month, Cai said.

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pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
6/24/2014 | 9:26:30 PM
Re: Will Google ever get serious about enterprise collaboration?
The real question is if the people signing up for Google+ are actually active users. I have a G= account but truly only because I was pestered into it through Gmail, but I don't actually use it for anything, like most people I know. I do actively use FB though.
Henrisha
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Henrisha,
User Rank: Strategist
6/18/2014 | 6:25:34 AM
Re: Will Google ever get serious about enterprise collaboration?
As a whole, I think Google+ is a growing social network but it's not quite there yet. The fact that it wasn't one of the first ones probably has a lot to do with the user base and its numbers. It does seem like Facebook is beating them in terms of acquisitions, though.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
6/17/2014 | 9:08:49 PM
Re: Will Google ever get serious about enterprise collaboration?
My thought is that they were waiting to acquire a social company or 2 & bundle it into G+ so they wouldn't have to spend too much engineering manhours internally.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 3:37:04 PM
Will Google ever get serious about enterprise collaboration?
I always thought Google had the potential to make Google+ into a more serious enterprise (or at least small business) social collaboration tool, but they seem to have moved very slowly in that direction. Hangouts is one of the key distinguishing features for the environment, so it's about time they showed the admin tools for business managers some love.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 2:53:48 PM
Re: Correcting the age of users???
I think I may know what that's about. To avoid being subject to child data privacy legislation, Google set a minimum age for G+ users. If someone lied about their age to get an account, the admin will now be able to correct it.

The reason I know this: when my son was 12, he accidentally clicked a link in GMail, was prompted to join Google+ and answered honestly when asked his age. This resulted in his carrcommunications.com Google Apps account being completely disabled -- not just his access to G+ but to his GMail email which he needs for school. When I asked for technical support from Google, it turned out the only way to fix this was to lie about his age - so my boy went from 12 to 30 overnight, and his email started working again.

Good to know we'll be able to fix that at some point.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 1:34:06 PM
Smart or scared?
Releasing a premium option in the wake of Gundotra's departure, moving team members to Android, and reports of use and signups being stalled is either desperation or smart marketing. I guess we'll find out which in due time. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 12:28:06 PM
Correcting the age of users???
That line, "correcting the age of users who entered in the wrong one when they signed up," caught my eye. Why would somebody do that, other than vanity? And how could Google determine which profile contained the lie about a person's age? I'm guessing the bigger problem is those in mid-life crisis rather than underaged kids trying to buy liquor on the strength of a Google+ profile.
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