This is great news to millions of users who have been using Google Apps account and were not able to get on the latest social networking platform – Google+.
They now can, according to update published yesterday, Google Apps account holders can now sign-in to Google+ and use it as their in-house collaboration platform along with all the regular features that Google Plus offers to its users. If you are one of the few who are still not aware of Google Plus, read more about it here.
Google is rolling this out to users slowly, so it may happen that even if you are a Google Apps user, you may not get access to it right-away. Google+ is enabled automatically only if all of the following apply to your Google Apps account:
- In your administrator control panel, on the Domain settings page, under New Services, the option to automatically add new services when Google releases them is selected.
- Your organization is a Google Apps or Google Apps for Business customer.
- Picasa Web Albums and Google Talk are already turned on for your users.
It looks like most apps account holders will still have to do it manually as I did.
Procedure to activate Google+ for your Apps account
Once you login to your Google Apps Domain Control manager – click on “services” under “Organization & users tab. If it is showing “OFF”, turn it “ON” (see screenshot above). Once you have activated, you can go to plus.google.com and sign-up for your plus account.
However, if you are looking to use Google+ for your Businesses’ Branding / marketing purposes, you will have to wait. These accounts are for individual users only. See the message in above screenshot when I tried to change the name to Business name. If you change the Google Plus name here, it will get changed everywhere.
Google+ as in-house Collaboration Tool
Once you have activated Google Apps for your domain – it can work as a fantastic collaborative tool & in-house social network for your businesses . You can communicate or hangout (cool intelligent video conferencing) privately with users inside your organization or send videos, links, photos only to the users you want.
With introduction of Google+ for Apps account holders, it may be a death kneel for startups like Yammer, Socialwok and hundreds of other platforms who offer collaborative services for closed group of users.
Yes, there is a lot missing from Google+ platform as yet, but given the speed at which Google+ is launching new features, it is matter of time before it will offer everything and much more than any of the existing tools can offer. And think of all the developer community which will start to develop cool apps on Google+ when API opens up completely!
What’s your take on this new development?