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from the L.A. Times

Google+ opens to Google Apps users

Google+ Hangouts with extras

Google+ is now open to users of Google Apps, the tech giant's suite of cloud-based business applications that are challenging Microsoft Office for workplace dominance.

But Google's new social network, itself a challenger to Facebook, will work a bit differently for those using Google+ with a Google Apps account versus a personal Google account. 

For one, Google Apps users will be using email addresses that are tied to their workplace -- whether a business or an educational institution -- to get onto Google+. As such, Google is allowing businesses to have administrative control over all Google+ accounts integrated with Google App accounts.

"Because you're signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time," Google said in a suggestion of text to send out via email that Google Apps users who want to use Google+ for work too. Google does advise that businesses "edit based on your organization's policies," so it's up to a business as to how they handle this ability. 

Social networks are, of course, about sharing, among other things. And Google is also advising businesses to tell their employees to keep that in mind when using Google+ with a Google Apps account and to not share stuff that only the company itself should see -- something a Google employee recently did.

"Google Apps users will have access to the same set of features that are available to every Google+ user, and more," Ronald Ho, a Google product manager, said in a blog post. "In addition to sharing publicly or with your circles, you'll also have the option to share with everyone in your organization, even if you haven't added all of those people to a circle."

One new tool added for Google Apps users in Google+ is Hangouts with extras, "which combines multi-person video chat with screen sharing and collaboration in Google Docs."

Google also said that it would soon roll out a migration tool that will allow users with a personal Google+ account to move them over to a Google Apps integrated Google+ account.

"With this tool, you won't have to rebuild your circles, and people who've already added you to their circles will automatically be connected to your new profile," Ho said. "We expect this migration option to be ready in a few weeks, so if you'd like, you can go ahead and get started with your Apps account today and merge your connections once the tool is available."

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screen shot of Google+ Hangouts with extras, which combines video chatting with Google Doc sharing. Credit: Google

 
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