Google+ courts business users with new corporate privacy settings

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Internet giant Google has added several new collaboration features to its social networking site, Google+, to bolster its appeal to business users.

Google Apps users will get free preview access to the new features until the end of 2013, but no further pricing information has been disclosed.

The company announced the move in a blog post earlier today. "Web-based collaboration and social tools have dramatically changed the way people connect," it stated.

"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."

The new features include a restricted post function, which allows organisations to control who can see content published on Google+ and prevent people outside the company accessing it.

On top of this, IT administrations can set company-wide access restrictions on posts and set up private company meetings using Google Hangouts.

Google has also introduced changes that allow users to hold video meetings with up to 10 people using Google+ Hangouts.

It also used the post to reveal that an enterprise-focused, mobile version of Google+ is in the pipeline.

"If you're a Google Apps customer, we encourage you to bring Google+ to work today," the post concluded.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.