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“Happy Birthday!” / Love, Google+

If you thought you escaped the birthday brigade when logging out of Facebook, think again. Google+ is making some changes, starting with reminding you of people’s birthdays if they’re in one of your circles. However, a little virtual Mylar balloon action isn’t the only new thing Google’s rolling out. Check out these latest updates.

Rumors Google+ was going the enterprise route have been swirling around since last year, but now we get to see it in action. New apps are geared for the workplace and incorporate social media staples to encourage getting work done (or at least getting more social about it). Interested? Jump on it now because it’s free to use and explore until the end of 2013.

Did Google+ Fall Off the Horse?

Google+ has been around since 2011 but it hasn’t exploded like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. If Google did fall off that proverbial horse, it’s getting right back on and this time with new tricks in the saddle.

Infusing enterprise social networking (ESN) functions geared specifically for the workplace seems to be the new tactic. Dust off those profile design skills because you’ll need to create a work profile to be fully engaged.

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Other key features like document sharing, micro blogging and discussion groups are just some of the options for businesses. Maybe Google+ is onto something after all.

You know how important it is to be able to co-edit and share documents and maintain a good blog. However, most of us. whether we’re in the business of construction software or selling fine jewelry, tend to use different sites to do these tasks.

Filling the Gap

Obviously, Google knows what consumers want. The ability to restrict blogs to only company members with ease and allowing IT administrations to design and implement policies is crucial. Putting the power back into the company’s hands (you know, the people who are actually using it) is definitely a step in the right direction.

ESN isn’t something new. It’s been done before via NewsGator and Socialtext to name a few. Doesn’t sound familiar? That’s because it didn’t take off the way it was planned and the way it really can. Now the big boys like Cisco, Microsoft and IBM are getting in on the action, which is ideal timing for Google+.

It’s All About the Apps

Google+ is fabulous for your work platform but the real gem is in the business apps. Google knows how to design appealing, easy-to-use apps, and adding ESN into the mix is a recipe for greatness. So far, most of the testing has been done in private but the jigsaw pieces are starting to come together.

Additional apps and features will be added, for free, through 2013 so you can start checking out the latest thing. Why not make work a little bit easier if it’s possible

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