Google Plus Adds Private Sharing For Google Apps Users: Still Not A Yammer Competitor

Google today announced immediate availability of new Google Plus sharing features aimed squarely at the paid Google Apps for Business account user.

The two features that seem to be most prominent are the ability to restrict posts to “internal only” status and the ability to add Google Hangouts to calendars.

While these new features are nice – they still represent only a tiny baby step toward competing with the likes of Yammer, Socialcast or Chatter. Here’s what’s still missing.

The missing features that are still missing from Google +:

How do you deal with the issue where you have a person (who is in your company) inside a circle and they also make a lot of public posts?

Problem: There is presently NO way for a circle to become private and only show content shared into that circle (similar to how groups work in other systems).

I have not found a way to filter Google+ circles (reliably) so we achieve something akin Yammer or Socialcast, et al.

This update does not deal with the issue of circles and dynamically updating them when people leave/arrive (ex. Sales, Marketing, IT). The inability to create one centrally administered circle means that rolling out Google+ to larger (20+ user) sites will stil be impractical unless all sharing is done to one common circle (or now to the company domain privately).

The Biggest Problems With Google+ – Which Still Persist After This Update

a. Circles doesn’t allow for a centrally updated membership area – so creating Sales, Marketing, IT is a bit of a problem when people come and go.

b. Circles currently does not have any way to create private groups — so if I circle you in a circle I label “Smart G+ Users” and you make public posts about your weekend out — I would be seeing both on-topic and “weekend out” public stuff. This just doesn’t scale well.

c. I am greatly concerned about the multiple profile issue. I’ve not looked but would hope there is a way for Google Apps users to “hide” their work profile so friends don’t circle the wrong profile?

I’ve always found multiple Google accounts to be one of the be biggest nightmares.

I can see how Google+ in its present state would work for an entire organization where there was just one circle. However once you expand beyond that – you are going to have a lot of problems with people seeing topics in a circle that aren’t related to that circle (hopefully you’ve seen the reasons why because I find almost nobody understands Google circles).

Pricing is another issue. The other sites such as Yammer have been pretty open to aggressively pricing the per member fees.

For us to bring on 100 users at $50/year — we’d be increasing our fee by 150% (at least) over what we’ve pre-negotiated for a dedicated social collaboration.

Google+ Enhancements

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