Google Apps users have been blocked from using Google+ ever since it’s been in testing, something that seemed a bit strange to Google Apps users, surely Google would want to give their loyal paying customers access to their social network first? Their reasoning was that they wanted to get the integration right and reliable before they released it out to their paying customers.
So what is Google Plus (G+)?
Google+ is Google’s social networking platform, it’s been in testing for a few months now and has already amassed over 40 million users due to its flexibility, privacy settings and collaboration features. If you’re a Facebook or Linked-In user you’ll have no doubt noticed lots of upgrades to their platforms in the past few weeks, the main reason for all those changes has primarily been the perceived threat of Google+ and the fact that it came out of closed testing to open public testing just last month.
Google+ has some very useful features not only for individuals but also for business and education: –
- Hangouts – A fantastic conferencing and white boarding system that allows you to hold an online video or voice conference with up to 10 people whilst also being able to show presentations, video’s, screen share and collaborate on anything in your Google Docs. Rumour has it that they will also be enabling one-to-many conferencing soon (just like Webex) which will be great for sales pitches and training
- Follow Me – The ability for someone to follow you without you having to accept them as a friend (just like Twitter)
- Circles – The ability to easily control who can and cannot see your posts, think ‘circles or groups of contacts’, you might have a specific business networking ‘circle’, close friends or a work colleagues circle.
- Picture Management – When compared to Facebook, a far superior and higher quality image system
- Google Chat, Video & Phone – If you’re already a Google Apps users you’ll know how powerful these features are, as a comparison think Skype integrated within your eMail platform
- Google +1 on Blogs and Web Pages – It has already been noticed that Google’s search platform is boosting posts up the search ranking that have been +1’ed within Google+
Google’s philosophy again seems to be to bring all the main functionality that businesses use within their normal working day (conferencing, presentations, info sharing, collaboration & telephony) to a single, easy-to-use and free platform. When you combine the power of Google Apps for Business with Google+ you end up with a very powerful set of businesses tools at a very small price.
Socially Active Users
Facebook is by far the most active platform, it’s used primarily by consumer facing businesses, Linked-In is primarily used by B2B businesses and Twitter is used as a means to disseminate communications to a wide audience quickly.
- Facebook – 800 million
- Linked-In – 200 million
- Google+ (In testing) – 40 million
- Twitter – 175 million
To me it looks like Google is targeting Linked-In and Twitter users before it moves on to the behemoth that is Facebook. Personally as an Apps for Business user the choice is obvious, if I can have a feature rich set of business tools that I use on a daily basis for free why would I not use it and I think that is the key to why G+ will be successful.
Google+ to Support Google Apps in Next Few Days – Mashable, 19th Oct 2011