G Suite Update Adds Content, Interaction Controls To Google+

September 21, 2017 - Written By Daniel Fuller

Google is rolling out an update to the G Suite version of Google+, giving administrators the option to set controls on what content can be viewed and interacted with by users on a given company’s internal Google+ network. The controls come in the form of three different settings, which administrators can access through the Advanced Settings menu for Google+ in the G Suite Admin console. Within the console, administrators can select the Organizational Unit that they want to apply the settings to, and then choose between Public mode, Private mode, and Hybrid mode, each of which handle the viewing and sharing of internal and external content a bit differently.

Public mode treats the internal Google+ for the Organizational Unit just as a public page would be treated, and gives all users privileges to search and interact with outside posts, as well as to interact with and publicly share internal posts, so long as they aren’t otherwise prevented from viewing or interacting with such posts by other controls. Private mode is the polar opposite, and completely isolates an Organizational Unit’s internal Google+ page and users from the rest of the social network; searches and interactions, including sharing, can only apply to internal content. Hybrid mode allows employees to search and browse both internally and externally, but only interact with internal posts, and only show interactions and created posts internally. It should be noted that all internal content is kept out of the public eye unless a piece of content is specifically shared publicly, regardless of which setting is chosen.

This new feature is currently on a gradual rollout, and should be available to all G Suite customers within the next 15 days or so. Changes made in the Admin Console will affect end users on all ecosystems, including mobile browser, web, and app. It should be fairly obvious that this new feature does not apply to regular Google+ users, since somewhat similar controls are available for Group administrators, and the consumer version of Google+ lacks Organizational Units. This change is clearly meant to allow Google+ to serve as a makeshift internal social network in whatever capacity a G Suite admin deems fit, a functionality that wouldn’t prove very valuable outside of the workplace.