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Google Plus Now Available For Apps Customers

The day has finally come. Google Plus is now available for Google Apps customers. Apps administrators can now manually turn on Google Plus for their organizations. The welcome change will roll out in the “next several days.”

Google Plus for Apps users will have the same feature set as the public version, and Apps organizations themselves will automatically be their own circle. For those who started using personal Plus accounts for work, Google is building a migration tool to move your circles and Plus-buddies over.

Better Late Than Never

Google Apps users have been crying out for Plus access since the beginning. These are the customers who actually pay Google to use its Web services for their organizations, and yet the Apps versions of Google’s tools routinely lag behind the free versions. When Google Plus opened to the public in September without Apps accounts, users were astonished. At the Web 2.0 Summit last week, SVP of engineering Vic Gundotra confirmed that Apps users would have access “in a matter of days,” and here it is.

Google Plus Will Work Better At Work

Google Plus is having a weird time of it as a social network. Google is cagey about sharing metrics. Perhaps that’s because people aren’t using it in interesting ways yet. Gundotra is more than happy to share stats about photo uploads, but those happen automatically when a signed-up Android user takes a picture. That’s not necessarily a use of Google Plus at all.

But ever since the public launch, Plus has had this killer feature with no clear user base: Google Docs in Hangouts. It’s an ideal way to collaborate on a project. But how often do casual friends collaborate on projects? Google Plus has had an obvious institutional use case for over a month. Now, at last, Google Apps users in college or the office can use these tools to get things done.

Migration Tools Are Coming

For those of us whose personal Google Plus accounts have been co-opted by work, Google is building a migration tool to move your circles and Plus-buddies over. Google says, “We expect this migration option to be ready in a few weeks.”

To learn more about setting up Google Plus for Apps accounts, see the Google Enterprise blog.

Will you use Google Plus for Apps in your organization?

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