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Manage Google+ content sharing

As a G Suite administrator, you can control how users within your domain can share and view Google+ content. For example, you may want to restrict users in your organization from creating or interacting with external content. You can use the content sharing and access settings for Google+ to manage this in your domain.

What are the content sharing and access settings?

You can apply these settings by organization or for your entire domain:

Allow content sharing and access outside of your domain (Public mode)

In Public mode, users can create and interact with external content, including content from consumer G+. For example, they can create posts that aren’t domain restricted and can comment, +1, reshare externally, or vote on posts that might be externally visible. You can apply default settings to these users with the Sharing Posts and Profile Discoverability settings, but users can override these settings to post externally.

Restrict all content sharing and access outside of your domain (Private mode)

Users in Private mode can’t create or interact with external content. They can only create domain-restricted posts and can only comment, +1, or vote on posts restricted to the domain. Users in Private mode can’t follow people, Communities, or Collections that aren’t domain restricted.  They also can’t see external Google+ content in search results or recommendations. Users can see non-domain restricted content if they have a direct link to it, but they can’t interact with it.
Note: Visibility of content (including external content) created prior to enabling this mode remains unaffected.

Restrict all content sharing and access outside of your domain and restrict external Google+ content (Hybrid mode)

Users in Hybrid mode can’t create or interact with external content. Like in Private mode, they can only create domain-restricted posts and can only comment, +1, or vote on posts that are restricted to the domain. Unlike Private mode, users in Hybrid mode can follow people, Communities, or Collections that aren’t domain restricted and can see external Google+ content in search results and recommendations.
Note: Visibility of content (including external content) created prior to enabling this mode remains unaffected.

Considerations before you change this setting

Review and understand the following issues before changing the content sharing and access setting.

Allow gender and birthday editing in Google+ profiles

To create a Google+ profile, users must provide their birthday and gender. To ensure users can create Google+ profiles, verify that editing birthday and gender are enabled in the Profile editing settings for their organizational unit. See Manage directory profile changes for more information.

Users without G Suite licenses assigned

Private and Hybrid modes can be applied only to users with G Suite licenses assigned. Users without G Suite licenses assigned will retain their current access to Google+ without content sharing and access restrictions applied. Examples of these users include those with license types: Cloud Identity, Android management, or Chrome management. To prevent these users from accessing Google+, you may place them in an Organizational Unit (OU) and disable the Google+ service for that OU.

Alternate email notifications

Before September 2016, G Suite users with access to Google+ could provide an alternate email address to receive Google+ notifications. For example, a user could specify a personal email address to receive updates about new Google+ posts made by others in their organization. Such notifications could include all or portions of the post's content. These users will continue to receive notifications at that email address, even if they are placed in Private or Hybrid mode. G Suite users are no longer able to add alternate email addresses for Google+ notifications, and the ability to receive Google+ notifications at a previously specified address will be removed soon.

Profile visibility

Private and Hybrid content sharing and access settings do not prevent Google+ profiles from being visible to people outside of your organization. Information visible in Google+ profiles includes: name, profile photo, profile cover photo, G+ collections the profile owner created, and posts created by the owner that the person viewing the profile page has access to see.

Although Private mode prevents search engines from crawling profiles of your users, people outside of your organization can still see user profiles in your organization under certain circumstances.

  • A user previously made external posts, which will link to their Google+ profile. Users may delete these posts. See Delete and manage activity on Google+ for more details.
  • A user owns, moderates, or is a member of a Community that’s not restricted to your organization. Their entry in the list of members of that Community will link to their Google+ profile. Users may transfer Community ownership to another Google+ user, and then leave the Community. 
  • A user owns an externally visible Collection, which will link to their Google+ profile. Users may delete their externally visible Collections.
  • A user who has circled a member of your organization chose to show people who are in their Circles.
  • A user who has been circled by a member of your organization chose to show people who have added them to Circles.
  • Users of some older Android clients may still be able to search for and find profiles of users in Private mode if they had previously followed those users when they were in Public mode.

Update mobile apps

Make sure you advise your users to update to the most recent version of the Google+ application on their mobile devices.

Google+ content sharing FAQ

Use these FAQs to answer questions from your users about Google+ content sharing and access. 

What is a Google+ content sharing and access mode?

Users in your organization can have one of three Google+ content sharing and access modes applied to them: Public, Private or Hybrid. These modes allow your organization’s administrator to control how you can interact with external Google+ content when logged-in with your G Suite account. Some Google+ options may also be hidden as a result of these settings.

Can I still interact with all my Google+ posts or communities?

If your Google+ content sharing and access mode has been set to Private, you will not be able to search for or interact with external posts on Google+, or join external communities. In Hybrid mode you will still be able to search for external content, but will not be able to interact with it.

In Private mode, will I still see posts from external people and communities?

When your content sharing and access mode is set to Private, you’ll still be able to see content from external communities and accounts that you had access to prior to this change. You’ll need to leave external communities and unfollow external accounts to no longer see that content inside Google+. Note that after you do this, you will not be able to rejoin those communities or follow those external accounts again.

Can I join additional external communities if I'm in Private or Hybrid mode?

Not in Private mode. In Hybrid mode, you can join external communities, but you will not be able to create or interact with posts in those communities.

Can I create new external communities?

Not in Private or Hybrid mode.

Can I keep existing external community memberships?

Yes, regardless of your content sharing and access mode. But in Private or Hybrid mode, you will not be able to interact with any content in that community, such as make new posts, or comment on posts.

I am an owner/moderator of external communities. How will this be affected?

In Private or Hybrid mode, if you owned an external community, you will retain owner rights. You will be able to delete the community and manage membership options (available using Manage members in Communities).  You can use membership management options to elevate a user to moderator or owner.

You will not be able to edit the community or perform moderation related actions, such as handle spam, posts held for review, or member requests.

How are my Home and Circle Streams affected?

In Private or Hybrid mode, if you were previously following external content sources (ex. communities, collections, or people outside of the domain), these streams will continue to contain content from those external sources until you do one of the following:

  • unfollow the collection 
  • remove external users from a circle 
  • leave the community
  • update community preferences to include "None" in the home stream.

How are my People and Circles affected?

In Private mode, you cannot add new users outside of your domain to your circles. However, you will keep existing relationships until you remove external users from your Circles. To modify circle relationships with an external user, you must remove the external user from all Circles. Note that after you remove them, you will not be able to add them back to your Circles.

Public and Hybrid mode have no impact on your People and Circles.

How are Notifications affected?

In Private and Hybrid modes you will continue to receive notifications from your external communities and G+ posts you follow. If you own or moderate existing external communities, you will not receive additional membership join requests.

Before you change the setting

  • Allow 48 hours—Changes to Content and Sharing can take up to 48 hours to fully apply to users. Some setting elements may apply faster than others, but to take full effect, please allow at least 48 hours.

  • Communicate the changes to your users. It's important to notify your users before changing the content sharing setting. Explain why they may see different behavior within Google+, and why they can’t do things that they could before, such as posting outside of their domain.

  • Think carefully about how much you restrict your users—Changing the Content and Sharing setting to be more restrictive can prevent users from modifying Communities, Collections, or posts that they already own.
    Example: If a user owns a private, non-domain restricted Community while in Public mode, changing the setting to Private mode prevents the user from posting to the Community or modifying its name, description, or photo. However, this user could still promote a new user to be the owner and continue to view new content added to the Community or the user could leave the Community.
  • Consider the effect on users following Communities, Collections, or people—Users who are changed from the Public or Hybrid mode to the Private mode continue to follow the same people, Communities, or Collections that they followed previously and continue to see new content from these sources, unless they unfollow them.

Change the setting

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenGoogle+and thenAdvanced settings.
  3. Under Content sharing and access, choose the setting:
    • Public mode 
    • Private mode 
    • Hybrid mode 
  4. Click Save.

 

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