Google+ was one of the search giant’s notable failures along its road to becoming one of the most powerful companies in technology, but it might find new life as an workplace collaboration tool.
Google unveiled “our new direction” for Google+ in a blog post Thursday, promising to add new management and moderation features to the enterprise version of Google’s social network within its G Suite package of enterprise collaboration software. It will also give companies a way to tag conversations and set up custom channels for internal communication in an update said to arrive in 2019.
“G Suite customers like Nielsen and Auchan are already sharing information across their organizations using Google+, and over the past year, we’ve been building a new experience that’s designed specifically to meet the needs of large organizations with distributed workforces,” wrote Google product manager David Conway in the post.
None of these features are particularly noteworthy, but Google’s decision to highlight them days after killing the consumer version of Google+ in the wake of poor usage and a pretty embarrassing security bug indicates that the company hopes to create something that might compete with Slack or Microsoft Teams, both of which have a lot of momentum in this area.
While Slack is the critical darling, large companies that do significant G Suite business with Google might be tempted to standardize on one product across the board, especially if cost considerations come into play when negotiating new deals. But in order to justify that to the people who will be forced to use this stuff, those buyers will need some basic enterprise-friendly features like the ones outlined in the post.