Posted October 28, 2011 9:31 am by with 15 comments

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Ever since Google+ was rolled out in June people have been whining and crying that the service wasn’t available to those using Google Apps. You had to have an individual account with Google in order to have a Google+ profile.

Well now that Google Plus is available for Google Apps users there is new cry like this one from The Next Web

If you’re a user of Google+ with a corporate or education Google Apps account, your administrator can access and modify your Google+ account and its postings. This information is pointed out in a Google help center topic related to the new feature:

Because you’re signing up for Google+ with your corporate email address, your Google Apps administrator retains the right to access your Google+ data and modify or delete it at any time.

OK, let’s slow down just a second. If you, as an individual have been held back from using Google+ because your corporate Google Apps account wasn’t allowed to work you are one of two types.

1. A small business whose identity is wrapped up completely in the Google Apps process

2. An employee of a company that uses Google Apps

Either way, why would you want to tie your online social presence to something that might be gone at some point? What if your business fails or the identity of your business is changed (you are bought) and your Google Apps needs change? Why not have a personal account that follows you (the individual not the business presence) wherever you go and regardless where or how you work?

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As for people now excited to join Google+ because their corporate or education Google apps account is letting them that is just plain crazy. If you leave for the next great job, get fired, graduate or whatever it is that disassociates yourself with that account then what do you do? Ask the admin of your former employer if you can still access their Google apps because you have all your stuff there?

Of course, you have the option to export the data to a personal account but what if you miss the opportunity? Why create the opportunity for that kind of situation anyway?

Why not have a separate account for business and personal? Oh no, not that! That requires work. It’s this social media laziness that creates the problems of people’s online personas being a cluster “you know what” of personal and business thus hurting both in the end.

So please explain to me why this is such a big deal and why people have been clamoring for it? For those who are supremely confident that their association with their Google Apps account will never change then more power to you. Here’s another question for you then. What if Google Apps goes away? Is Google now too personal to fail?

  • Unfortunately, Google doesn’t make it easy for a user to switch between Google Accounts. If I’m signed in to my Apps account–which is all the time btw–then I have to log out and log in to a personal account to use Google+. That practically kills any engagement opportunities.

    You do raise a valid point about tying our social media presence to a corporate account that may not be around at some point.

    • Ryan

      Enable multi-account sign-on and you can easily switch between accounts.

    • Thanks Ryan! I don’t about multi-account sign in procedure. It’ll really make my job fast. 🙂

  • There is the 3rd type of Google Apps users. People who would like to have an email address of their custom domain, and are therefore using Google Apps for it. This enables you to have addresses like instead of And I guess its this 3rd type that was leading the demand for Google+ to be enabled for them. Before yesterday, I had to keep two browser windows open to use Google+ (with Gmail id) in one and my other google services (with Google Apps id) in the other. Over time I stopped using Google+ because of this.

    • Thanks, Vithun. I suspect there are a lot more folks out there like yourself. In the end though anything outside of the actual person has a chance of losing steam. I have an e-mail set up like yours but it is fading which time has a way of doing to almost everything in this life. It’s all a risk, I suppose but it’s not like it’s about something that actually matters like clean water or food. As I have heard many say as of late- these are first world problems.

      • Yup. Looking at the bigger picture, “first world problems” sums it up. As it does for a lot of the “innovations” of this age.

    • Same here. My primary email address resides on a custom domain and I use google apps for it. It has also been my primary google account for a long time now. I had to create a new gmail account to try out google+ and kept another browser window open to use it. Not cool. Eventually, I stopped signing in. This is a big deal. 😀

  • I agree to an extent. I have always encouraged individuals, especially in schools, to not use the school e-mail as a primary address. The lost networking ability is too much of a risk. On the other hand, if your business uses Apps and you can have a business G+ account. I think that is reasonable.

    Not for individuals to go through apps to have a personal G+ account, but for the business itself to have a G+ account. If the business dies, the page dies. If it changes names, I think the bigger question is why are you changing the name? Perhaps if the name is being changed, you should start a new G+ and let the other one die.

  • Joe H

    My coworker and I video chat (gtalk) all day instead of using the phone. Hangouts are much nicer especially with screen sharing etc… Now we can simply initiate a hangout instead of video chatting just to ask him to meet me in google plus.

    Also, think of the potential to replace gotomeeting with G+ for business use!

  • Google+ in a Google Apps for Business account should be used like any other corporate resource – for business purposes. Not only would you be ill advised to use Google+ for your personal stuff from within your Google Apps log on due to the fact that of course you will (almost definitely) eventually leave your current employer and you don’t want to have to leave all your personal stuff behind. But also because its a corporate resource which is intended by your employer to be used for corporate purposes.

    The point about Google+ now being available from within your Google Apps for Business log on is not so you can start using it for your personal stuff! Its so you can start using it for your business stuff: intra-company sharing, communicating and collaborating; B2B sharing, communication and collaboration with your suppliers, partners etc; and for marketing with your current and future customers (B2C) (although this is not yet available if you want to have an identity for your brand/company independent of any individual member of staff).

    We’ll be explaining all this and more in our Google+ webinar next week. Go to to sign up.

  • Bill Dow

    I was excited about Google Apps getting Plus. My hope (erroneous) was that we’d get a great collaboration tool to use internally on projects, activity, etc. Unfortunately, it is required that the user be able to expose the activity outside of the domain. For any company that wants employees to collaborate within the domain, but doesn’t like the idea of exposing this to the outside world, this dynamic makes Google Plus a nonstarter.

  • I didn’t know that you can use Google+ even if you’re using Google apps. After all, I don’t actually use Google+.

  • I don’t get it. I’m a google apps user and google+ is still not available to me.

    I’m with Vithum. My wife bought her domain name and set up dozens of e-mail accounts for our family all through google apps. None of us can use google+.

    Google seems to be thinking that the entire universe will revolve around + and no one will ever change anything.

    • Joe Hakooz

      The point is that now you CAN use G+ with Google Apps.
      Make sure the domain admin has enabled that service though!