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. 

Google+ is being synced with the Google Apps business suite.

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." 

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to