Google has announced that Google Apps are now available with Google Plus. This means that if you're a Google Apps user, whether you use the paid Business version or just the free version, you can now turn on Google Plus for your organization, and all your users will have the access and ability to get started on the Google Plus social network.
Google Apps Users Now Able To Join Google Plus
When Google Plus first opened to the public, it was still unavailable to Google Apps users, which was a point of frustration for many who wanted to get in. It might not be as big as that initial rush, but I think Google Plus is about to have another surge in membership.
Some Google Apps users are university students, but a great majority are small, medium, and large businesses, utilizing it to power email and other important day-to-day business functions. And now Google Plus can just naturally slide right into that environment.
One of the biggest advantages Google Plus has in gaining new users is their ability to reach millions of eyeballs to advertise the social network by making use of their many other popular services. I imagine the company will quickly find a way to make an obvious "sign up for Google Plus" notice throughout Google Apps to help spread the word.
Google Apps users who have already signed up will even have an option to port their current Google Plus account over to their Google Apps account. Sweet.
Hangouts Gets A Chance To Shine
Hangouts, the Google Plus group video chat application, is fantastic. I've written many times about how great it is on many levels. We even use it at ReelSEO on occasion to conference by video with other members of our team.
And now that Google Plus is open to Google Apps Users, it should see a jump in use and popularity. It's a handy, easy way to have a face-to-face chat with co-workers, vendors, partners, and other business related contacts. Heck, you could easily have a staff meeting of remote workers on Hangouts with no trouble at all.
And college students? Hello. While a great many college students have used their own Gmail accounts to sign up for Google Plus, there are tons who are hopelessly tied to the ".edu" email address tied to their school. And many schools use Google Apps, and several that I know now even let students keep that email address for life. So a huge number of the perfect demographic for social networks just finally gained access to Google Plus through their main email identity.
Who likes video chat more than college students? Hangouts is the perfect way to chat with friends at different schools, discuss group projects, or plan a night on the town.
The news for Google Plus so far has pretty much been all good. They have amassed over 40 million users in just a few months, and should see another big jump in that number over the next several weeks as Google Apps users start jumping into the action.
There's no sign of slowing or giving up from Google. They seem to be in this game for the long haul. They also teased more features and improvements are on the way soon, even asking for user feedback, which you can provide them with here. Much of that early feedback was "when is Google Apps gaining access" commentary. So now that they've addressed that, it'll be interesting to see what they do next.
Are you on Google Plus. Several of you have commented to us that you wished Google Apps would gain access... do you plan on signing up now that it has?