Create a Google+ Community at work or school

This article is intended only for Google Apps users. You're probably a Google Apps user if you're using Google+ with a work or school account. If you're using a personal Google account, see Create a Google+ Community instead.

Use communities to start conversations around specific projects, interests, or particular groups. For example, you might start a community for your expanded work group, a class project, a charity drive within your organization, or a joint initiative between your company and outside contributors.

Community privacy options

You can restrict communities to only your organization (that is, restricted to only your company or school), or you can choose to include people outside your organization. When setting up a community, think about who should be able to find and join the community, who should be able to see the content and members, and whether people need to request to be a member.

There are eight types of communities, as described in the tables below.

If you restrict the community to your organization:

Type of community Who can join Who can see posts and members Who can find community via search*
Open within your domain - Anyone in your organization can join Everyone in your organization Everyone in your organization Everyone in your organization
Open within your domain - Moderator approval needed to join Anyone in your organization can request to join, but moderators must approve membership. Everyone in your organization Everyone in your organization
Private in your domain - Moderator approval needed to join Anyone in your organization can request to join, but moderators need to approve membership Community members Everyone in your organization
Private in your domain - Hide community from searches Only people in your organization who are invited Community members Not shown in search results**

*Restricted communities might not yet be searchable in your domain.

**The name and photo of a "private in your domain" community that’s hidden from search will still be visible to people in your organization who type in or follow a link to the community’s web address. The name and photo will not be visible outside your organization.

If you choose not to have search engines index your community, the community itself won't appear in Google search results. However, your community will still remain visible to anyone in your organization with the URL. Other pages and content (including websites, blogs, and Google products such as Picasa Web) that link to your community can still appear in search results. If someone outside your organization follows a link to your organization, they will see an error and won't be able to view the community.

If you don't restrict the community to your organization:

Type of community Who can join Who can see posts and members Who can find community via search
Public - Anyone can join Everyone Everyone Everyone
Public - Moderator approval needed to join Anyone can request to join, but moderators must approve membership Everyone Everyone
Private - Let people find through search and request to join Anyone can request to join, but moderators must approve membership Community members Everyone
Private - Hide community from searches Only invited people Community members Not shown in search results*

*Note: The name and photo of a private community that’s hidden from search will still be visible to people who type in or follow a link to the community’s web address.

If you choose not to have search engines index your community, the community itself won't appear in Google search results. However, your community will still remain visible to anyone with the URL. Other pages and content (including websites, blogs, and Google products such as Picasa Web) that link to your community can still appear in search results.

To create a community
  1. Before you create a community, review the privacy options above, and choose which type of community you need.

    Choose your privacy options carefully, as the only way to change them later is to delete the community and create it again from scratch.
  2. On Google+, hover your mouse over the top left to expand the Google+ main navigation.
  3. Click the communities icon.
  4. Click the Create community button at the top right.
  5. Decide whether to restrict your community to people in your organization and click the corresponding box.
     
    If the first options you see are Open and Private, it means your organization has chosen to make your communities restricted, by default. If you want to let people outside your organization access your community, and you know that your organization is ok with that, click change at the top of the dialog box. Otherwise, just go on to the next step.
  6. Decide who can see members and posts:
    • If your community is restricted to your domain, choose whether it should be Open (anyone in your domain can see members and posts) or Private (only approved members can see members and posts).
    • If your community is not restricted, choose whether it should be Public (anyone can see members and posts) or Private (only approved members can see members and posts).
  7. Enter a name for your Community.
  8. Pick your final option:
    • If your community is Open or Public, choose whether or not a moderator must approve members.
    • If your community is Private, choose whether to make it findable via search. Members of Private communities must always be approved; if  a Private community is not searchable, only invited people can join. 
  9. Click Create community.
Next steps

Add a photo

Your photo will be the first thing people see. Pick a photo that represents the purpose behind your community.

Set a community photo in the "Edit Community" section under the Actions menu.

Complete the About section

The About section is the primary place for new members to learn about your community, so use this opportunity to:

  • Describe the purpose of your community
  • Set clear expectations around posts and discussions
  • Add any additional information or relevant links

Invite people to join

Follow the steps and share with your circles to invite people to join:

  1. While in your community, click Actions to open the drop-down menu.
  2. Select Invite people.
  3. A share box will open. You can write a message to include with your invitation.
  4. Add names, circles, or email addresses of the people you’d like to invite.
  5. Click Send.

Learn more about how to manage a community