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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