29 Jul How changes to Google+ will affect Google Apps for Work users
The team at Google have announced a stream of updates regarding Google+ recently, including changes to the way you would use and interact with the social networking tool. Here we give you an update of what’s changing and what you need to know.
Google Photos break free of Google+ and includes integration features with Google Drive
Your photos that were once backed up in Google+ will now be backed up in a new independent product, Google Photos. This allows you one place to store and edit all your photographs, separate to the Google+ platform. The integration with Google Drive allows you to integrate your Google Photos folder into Drive, as an easy place to find all your images. You can find out more here: How Google Drive works with Google Photos
Images shared in Hangouts chat will now be powered by Google Photos, not Google+
The photo-sharing functionality in Hangouts is changing. Going forward, the ability to share photos and other multimedia in Hangouts Chat will be set by the Google Photos service rather than by the Google+ service, which should be good news for those of you who wish to use this feature but don’t have Google+ enabled. If Google+ is already enabled in your domain, no action is necessary. Google+ requires Google Photos so you can continue to share photos using Hangouts Chat just like you always have. If Google+ is not enabled for your domain and you want to use the photo-sharing functionality in Hangouts Chat, you must turn on the Google Photos service in your Admin console.
Using Google without a Google+ profile
Google have identified that it doesn’t make sense for the identity you use in Google+ to be your identity across the rest of Google Apps. Therefore, you’ll no longer need to create a Google+ profile to share content or communicate with contacts across Google. As for people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, Google are to begin offering better options for managing and removing those public profiles. You can find out more here.
Commenting behaviour on Youtube
For Google Apps customers with YouTube enabled, there are few key changes to highlight. Firstly, comments posted on YouTube will now appear only on YouTube, not also on Google+ (and vice-versa). The “Also share on Google+” checkbox from the YouTube commenting interface will also be removed. Individuals in a Google Apps domain will no longer have the ability to restrict comments made on YouTube to be viewable only in their domain, they will see a warning alerting them to the fact that their comments will be public. What this means for you is that your employees actions on Youtube will no longer be linked to your organisation or their Google+ profile. Read more on this here.
A more focused Google+ experience
Google+ has morphed from being a social media tool compared to the likes of Facebook and Twitter, to quickly becoming a place where people engage around their shared interests, with the content and people who inspire them, especially in the workplace. In line with that focus, Google are continuing to add new features like Google+ Collections, where you can share and enjoy posts organised by the topics you care about. Check out our tip, How to create a collection in Google+.
Prevent individuals from changing their Google+ profile name
By default, people can change the profile name that’s displayed for their Google+ profile. The new display name is also used in all other Google products, except for user-edited Gmail usernames. With a new update from Google, admins can decide to disallow name changes. If changes are disallowed, all Google+ profile names that were previously changed by individuals will be replaced by their corresponding names in the Admin console directory. This helps for those organisations who want to use Google+, but want to control the way people from their organisation are portraying themselves across the internet. You can find out more about here.
Stay tuned, as there will likely be more updates to come, but what we recommend for now is those of you using Google+, continue to do so as normal and enjoy the enhanced services such as Collections and the new Google Photos. For those of you who do not have Google+ enabled on your domain, this no longer needs to be such a concern as you begin to get better access to the tools you want to use.