You could’ve been forgiven for thinking that Google+ had already been consigned to the scrapheap, but news emerged this week that Google was finally shuttering the consumer version of the social product — but only after a major security vulnerability had been found.
Fast forward three days, and Google has more Google+ news to share, and this time it’s pretty much good news. The internet giant has revealed a triumvirate of new features that will be making their way into Google+ for G Suite users within businesses.
First up, Google+ users will soon be able to use tags to help fellow employees follow specific topics when they share content across an organization. For example, if you’re sharing a research study on customer requirements, Google+ will suggest hashtags to include in the post before you share it. This means that colleagues who are interested in that topic are more likely to find posts that are of interest to them by following that specific tag.
“We want to make it easier for all employees to engage in conversations across their organization, including deskless workers who want to stay engaged on-the-go outside of email or chat threads,” noted Google product manage David Conway, in a blog post. “Even if you don’t know all employees across an organization, tags makes it easier to route content to the right folks.”
Elsewhere, Google also announced that it will soon activate a new feature it’s calling “custom streams,” whereby admins can create a tailored content stream that allow employees to follow and engage with posts from specific people or on specific topics. Custom streams may include all posts from senior executives, for example, allowing rank-and-file workers to enter discussions on key issues. Or a custom stream may be topic-specific based on a particular tag.
Data and metrics is a key selling point across G Suite — last month Google unveiled a new Work Insights tool that reveals G Suite adoption and collaboration rates within a company. In a similar vein, Google+ already offers engagement metrics such as user activity data around Google+ communities. Soon, Google will serve up post analytics so people can see how their content is being received across an organization, for example if posts are being read more by people in sales than in marketing.
While the timing of this announcement may (or may not) be coincidental, the fact that it comes so soon after the Google+ security palaver from earlier this week is notable — it serves as a timely reminder from Google that even though Google+ is being ditched for consumers, it’s very much alive and kicking in the enterprise.