Google+ brings business users into the 'circle'

Current Google Apps users can now take advantage of a free preview test of a range of business-specific Google+ features. 

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    Google+ is being synced with the Google Apps business suite.
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Google+ is getting down to business. 

On Tuesday, Google introduced a new suite of Google+ features tailored to business users, including Gmail integrated-videoconferencing and intra-office Google+ posts. In a blog post, Google product manager Clay Bavor said the features would be available in free preview mode through the end of next year. The catch: Your organization must already be signed up for the Google Apps business suite. 

"Whether you’re across the street or across the world, you can hold face-to-face meetings, share updates with colleagues and friends and work on a presentation together in real time," Mr. Bavor wrote this week on the company blog. "Like Google Apps, we think Google+ can help colleagues collaborate more easily and get things done–and get to know each other along the way." 

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Google has been testing the Google+ functionalities for several months; among the companies that signed up for an early trial was Kaplan, the test-prep company. Bavor said Google would continue to integrate feedback from users. 

Although it has not released exact figures, Google said last year that more than 4 million businesses use Google Apps. For mid-sized to large companies, Google currently charges $5 per user per month for the service. Businesses can use the suite to create shared workplaces, store files, and communicate securely.

Google has also introduced a free platform called Google Apps for Education.

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