Google+ still alive in the enterprise, with updated analytics and collaboration tools

At Google Cloud NEXT London, the G Suite team revealed new features that improve admin manageability, tags, and more.

Keeping ahead of the changes coming to G Suite

While rumors of Google+'s eventual shutdown have been circling for a while, Google finally decided to pull the plug on the social network in October 2018, following a bug that led to exposed data for 500,000 accounts. The consumer version is scheduled to be taken offline in August 2019, but the enterprise version for professionals will remain active, and Google just announced a bunch of new updates for it.

At the Google Cloud NEXT London event on Thursday, Google officials announced that Google+ for G Suite would be getting new features including tagging, custom streams, and engagement metrics. The goal is to help break down communication silos in customer organizations, as noted in a Google blog post.

Tagging is the first attempt at breaking the barriers down. Using standard hashtags, users can tag their conversations with relevant keywords to make them more easily discoverable across the organization, the post said. New tags will be suggested when the user is composing a post.

SEE: Comparison chart: Enterprise collaboration tools (Tech Pro Research)

With the custom streams feature, G Suite admins will be able to define custom streams based on topics and their relevance, the post said. This gives users a less cluttered stream, and the ability to engage more directly with leadership through posts.

"Additionally, for customers who store reporting structure in G Suite, we will provide post analytics so individuals can see how their content is being viewed by functions across an organization, like product or sales teams," the post said.

With the Google+ update, admins will now be able to see new metrics to measure engagement on posts within Google+ communities owned by employees. The admins will also soon be given the ability to review and moderate employee-created posts as well, according to the post. This feature follows other recent updates including defined permissions and the ability to bulk-add Groups to a Google+ community.

Google+ didn't work well as a consumer social media platform, so it makes sense that Google would shutter the service in light of the bug. However, the updates to the enterprise version could point to a possible pivot with Google+ becoming the de facto communication hub for G Suite customers.

These feature updates will be rolling out in 2019, and interested companies can sign up for a free two-week trial of G Suite here.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Google+ is still alive for enterprise users and is getting tagging functionality, engagement metrics, and customer streams for users.
  • Google's investment in the enterprise version of Google+ could point to a possible pivot for the product, with more business features coming in the future.

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Image: iStockphoto/rvolkan