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 G Suite users outside their domain in communities. After April 2, 2019, G Suite users will no longer be able to create new public communities outside their domain. They will only be able to create new private communities outside their domain (invite-only), and only G Suite users can join. However, any public communities external to the domain that existed before April 2, 2019 and have at least one G Suite owner will remain.

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 and Communities 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 and Communities 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.

Private mode is the default for new G Suite accounts

The default sharing mode for new G Suite accounts created after April 25, 2019 is Private. However, administrators can change the mode to Public or Hybrid at any time.

If you signed up for G Suite before April 25, the sharing mode for your domain will not change.

Allow birthday editing in Google+ profiles

If you're not using Automatically create Google+ profiles, make sure you enable Birthday editing to allow users to create Google+ profiles.

Users without G Suite licenses assigned

Public, Private, and Hybrid modes can be applied only to domains with G Suite licenses assigned. Domains without G Suite licenses assigned will not retain access to Google+.

For these users, you can turn off access to the Google+ service.

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

Information visible in Google+ profiles includes information such as name, profile photo, profile cover photo, and posts created by the owner that the person viewing the profile page has access to see. G Suite users' Google+ profiles can no longer be shared publicly or available through public search. Some search engines may serve cached content.

Although profiles are not discoverable outside the domain, people outside of your organization can still see user profiles in your organization under certain circumstances. For example:

  • 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 G Suite Google+ user, and then leave the Community. 

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 signed 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 unless you change your content sharing and access mode to Public.

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?

G Suite users will no longer be able to create new public communities outside their domain. They will only be able to create new private communities outside their domain (invite-only), and only G Suite users can join.

Can I keep existing external community memberships?

Yes, regardless of your content sharing and access mode, you will keep existing external community memberships. However, after April 2, 2019, external communities without a G Suite owner will be deleted, and you will no longer be a member.

Note that in Private or Hybrid mode, you will not be able to interact with any content in external communities, 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 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 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 or people—Users who are changed from the Public or Hybrid mode to the Private mode continue to follow the same people or Communities 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 Home page, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenGoogle+.
  3. Click Advanced settings.
  4. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit or a configuration group.
  5. Under Content sharing and access, choose the setting:
    • Public mode 
    • Private mode 
    • Hybrid mode 
  6. Click Save.

 

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