Google+ FAQ for administrators

Overview

What is Google+ for Google Apps?

Google+ is a social networking platform that lets users share information and collaborate with others, both inside and outside your organization. Learn more

For which versions of Google Apps is Google+ available?

Google+ is available with all versions of Google Apps.

Is the version of Google+ that I use with Google Apps the same as the consumer version?

For the most part, Google+ for Google Apps users is the same as the consumer version, with just a few differences:

  • As an administrator, you can restrict the use of Google Apps to only specific users, and enable or disable the service at any time. However, you can't restrict what content users can share or with whom they can share that content, either inside or outside your organization.
  • Along with their sharing circles, users will see your organization's domain name as a sharing option. This option allows users to quickly share content internally with all other Google+ users in your organization, even if they haven't added all of those users to a circle.
  • Users can choose whether to restrict a post to your organization only. Users in your organization who receive a restricted post can't re-share it with people outside your organization.
  • Profile labels help users in your domain recognize other Google+ profiles within your domain and distinguish them from personal or other external profiles.

In addition, if you activate Google+ premium features, Hangouts video calls are private to your organization, you can restrict posts and Hangouts to your organization by default, start larger Hangouts, see which users have profiles, and enable other features that are tailored for organizations. Learn more

What are Google+ premium features? Can users migrate data from their personal Google+ account to their new Google+ for Google Apps account?

Yes, your users can transfer all data from one Google+ profile to another, using Google Takeout. To learn how to transfer only Google+ circles and other connections using Takeout, see Transfer Google+ connections between accounts.

Note: Make sure to turn on the Google Takeout service for your organization.
What type of support is available for Google+?

Google+ is outside the core suite of Google Apps services and is currently not covered by the Google Apps support guidelines or service level agreement (SLA) for core services. However, you can find assistance through the Google+ Help Center and Help forum.

What is a Google+ Profile?

A Google+ Profile lets users manage their online identity across all Google Apps products, and includes the user's name, biographical information, contact details, and more. It's visible to others both inside and outside your organization; however, users can choose which information in their profiles to share publicly or with just specific circles, and which information to keep private. Learn more about Google+ Profiles

Note: If a users change their name in their profile, the new name appears in all of their Google Apps services. The new name also overrides the name that's set in the user's account information in the Admin console, so the name also appears in the user's contact details in the Contacts Manager. At this time, once a user changes his or her name, you can't edit this information in the Admin console, either manually or by using the Provisioning API. This is a known issue and will be resolved in an upcoming release of Google+.
What are Google+ Pages?

Google+ Pages provide businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+. Google+ Pages help businesses, for example, connect and interact with their customers. Other Google+ users can add Pages to their circles to receive updates in their streams. Learn more about Google+ Pages

What are the requirements for Google+?

To use Google+, you'll need to enable:

  • Google Drive, for document sharing in Hangouts
  • Google Calendar, for Google+ Events
  • Google Talk, for instant messaging
  • Picasa Web Albums, for photo sharing
What are Hangouts?

The Hangouts feature is included with Google+ and provides multi-user video conferencing with coworkers or other Google+ users in your circles. Hangouts provide screen sharing and integrate with Google Docs for collaborative editing. Learn more

What are Hangouts On Air?

Hangouts On Air let users broadcast a hangout, making them ideal for large presentations, demonstrations, or lectures. Learn more

What are the requirements for Hangouts? What are Google+ Events?

Google+ Events let users schedule events in Google+ and allow attendees to contribute photos in a shared album. Learn more

Is Google+ available on mobile devices?

Yes, your users can use Google+ on mobile devices, using either a native app or a mobile web browser. Learn more

Privacy and security

What is the privacy policy for Google+?

Because the version of Google+ that you can enable for your organization is the same as the consumer version, and your users are subject to the Google+ consumer terms of service, the same consumer privacy policy applies.

However, as an administrator, you can manage the availability of Google+ to your users and may have access to their Google+ data, depending on your organization's own policies. We suggest that you inform your users of any applicable policies your organization may have.

For details about what information is private and public, and how users can control visibility of their data, see the Google+ Help Center and click "Privacy Guide."

Can I prevent users from sharing information with others outside our organization?

No, Google+ doesn't include controls for limiting sharing with others outside your organization. However, users can choose to restrict their posts to your organization only, preventing anyone from re-sharing their posts with external Google+ users. And, if you activate Google+ premium features, you can make restricted posts the default for your users, so if they do choose to share a post with external users, they'll need to remove the restriction before posting. 

Learn more about Google+ premium features

Can users use Hangouts with others outside our organization?

Admins can restrict their users from Hangouts text chat outside of their domain but users can start or join Hangouts video calls with any other Google+ users, both inside and outside your organization.

If you have Google+ premium features enabled, Hangouts video calls are private to your domain. External participants can join, but they must be added directly to the event invitation or the video call.

Can I prevent users from creating Google+ Pages?

No, any users for whom you've enabled Google+ (and who've signed up) can set up Google+ Pages.

What administrative control do I have over Google+ for my organization?

As an administrator, you have control over only the on/off setting for Google+.

Who owns Google+ content: users or our organization?

Because users access Google+ through their Google Apps accounts, Google+ data is owned by either your organization or the user, depending on your organization's data policies.

If I delete a user's account, is that user's Google+ data also deleted?

Yes, if you delete a user's Google Apps account, all that user's Google+ data will be deleted from the Google+ service, including the user's profile, posts, and photos.

Enabling and disabling Google+

How do I turn on Google+ for my users?

You'll find the Google+ on/off setting in your Admin console, under Organization & Users > Services > Other Google Services. Learn more about turning on Google+

How do I activate Google+ premium features?

In your Admin console, go to Other Google Services > Google+. Learn more about activating Google+ premium features

Can I turn on Google+ for only some of my users?

Yes, you can turn on Google+ just for users in specific organizational units. Learn more

Can I turn on Google+ for all or just specific domains associated with our Google Apps account?

Yes, if you turn on Google+ at the top-level of your organization structure, it applies to all your users in all your domains. Also, if you separate users into domain-specific organizational units, you can turn on Google+ for only specific domains. Learn more about managing multiple domains

Can I enable Google+ for my domain if I'm not a Google Apps customer?

No, you'll need to sign up your domain for Google Apps, because users need to sign in to the service using their domain email address.

Can I use Google+ for my domain without any other Google Apps services, such as Gmail?

Yes, after you've signed up your domain for Google Apps, you can turn off the services you don't want to use. However, you'll need to keep the following services turned on, because they're required for Google+:

  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive
  • Google Talk
  • Picasa Web Albums

Learn more about disabling services

When users activate the Google+ service, is data moved outside of existing services?

No. When users join Google+ and follow the defaults in the sign-up process, no data is moved from existing services into new services.

What if a user already has a personal Google+ account?

If a user already signed up for a personal Google+ account using his or her personal email address, the user can continue using that account.

What happens if I disable Google+?

If you disable Google+, your users can no longer sign in to Google+ using their Google Apps account. However, their profiles and posts will still be visible to anyone who has access, unless users downgrade from Google+ to remove Google+ from their Google Apps accounts. Keep in mind that before they downgrade from Google+, users can export their Google+ data. Learn more about disabling Google+

What happens if a user leaves our organization?

If you delete the user's account: All the user's Google+ data will also be deleted. Depending on your organization, however, you might want to let the user export his or her Google+ data first. Learn more

If you suspend the user's account instead of deleting it: The user won't be able to access Google+. However, the user's Google+ data will still be visible to anyone who has access, unless you downgrade the suspended user's account from Google+ to remove the service. (As an administrator, you can access the user's suspended account). Learn more about suspending users

Educational institutions: If you provide students or faculty with a life-long email address, you can disable Google+ without deleting their Google Apps account. Learn more about disabling Google+