Google+ Becoming a Core Service for Google for Work
There are two important pieces of news in this announcement; first, that Google+ is now going to be covered by your Google Apps agreement with technical support and service level commitments. The second is that the “new” (as of late 2015) Google+ interface will be automatically enforced on all users in the next few months.
What Does “Becoming a Core Service” Mean?
The people who are going to be most excited about this news in your organization are your social media managers. Now, they’ll be able to get support for your company’s Google+ pages, an option completely lacking from Twitter or Facebook - mostly because those are considered free services. If your company or organization is a Google for Work client, you now get support. Users can also get support for anything they want to do on Google+.
Automatic Rollout of “New” Google+ Interface
The Google+ interface no longer counts as new, since it was rolled out in late 2015. What has changed is that users had (and still have) the choice to opt-out of using the new interface, and Google is removing the opt-out option in 2016. Basically, your user’s Google+ interface is going to change, for those who actually use it. The rationale for the new interface is that it is cleaner and easier to use. The new Communities feature, which is restricted to your domain, is an effective replacement for legacy intranet systems.
What Is Going Away with This Change?
A few important items are leaving Google+. You’ll no longer be able to create events from Google+, you’ll have to head over to Google Calendar to do it, although you’ll still be able to see existing events. You won’t be able to start a Hangout from Google+, or a Hangout on Air. Hangouts on Air are effectively being replaced by live streaming sessions on YouTube Live, which is very similar to the Facebook Live experience. If you want to know how to do that, check out Google’s support article.
What Do I Have to Do as an Admin?
The easiest thing to do is to send out an email containing a link to the Google+ Transition Guide, along with a notification that Google+ now contains the same support as the rest of your Google for Work services. You’ll also want to include some information about the functions that will be going away, and YouTube Live services.