Users can now share files from their Google Drive storage account on their Google+ social networking profile, a capability that could be particularly relevant for workplace collaboration.
Users can share links to any file stored in Drive, including text documents, spreadsheets, slide presentations, forms and video clips, Google said on Wednesday.
Their Google+ contacts will be able to click on a thumbnail within the Google+ interface and open the file in a separate browser window.
Drive files can be shared on Google+ in different ways. Users can copy the URL of the Drive file and paste it into the share box in Google+. Another option is to share it on Google+ using the Drive share feature, which now includes Google+ as a destination option.
When shared on Google+, each file carries with it the access settings their owner gave it on Drive. Users can define which Google+ contacts they want to share a file with.
People who use Drive and Google+ at work as part of the Google Apps cloud email and productivity suite can also restrict posts to colleagues within their organisation.
In fact, the integration could help push the business value of Google+ within Google Apps, where it is expected to become eventually a full-fledged enterprise social networking (ESN) system.
ESN software, such as Microsoft’s Yammer, NewsGator’s Social Sites, Salesforce.com’s Chatter, Tibco’s Tibbr and Jive’s Social Business, provides social media features like the ones on Facebook and Twitter but adapted for workplace collaboration.
Google Apps needs an ESN component, and Google has been taking steps to adapt Google+ for that purpose.
Google first made it possible for Apps administrators to offer Google+ to their users, and has also provided IT controls to centrally establish access settings to Google+ posts and Google+ multiparty videoconferencing sessions.
Google also lets Google+ users add links to video conferencing sessions — called Hangouts in Google+ — to a Calendar event, so that participants can join directly from the Calendar invite or entry.