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Product Announcements

Announcing upcoming changes to our consumer Google+ and Gmail services; Increased investment in Google+ for the enterprise

October 8, 2018
David Thacker

Vice President, Product and Design, G Suite

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Today, as part of our ongoing efforts to protect user privacy, we announced a number of updates to the developer policies across Google. You can read more about these changes here. Several of these updates affect Google Apps, including consumer Google+ and consumer Gmail. In short, we announced that we will be sunsetting our consumer Google+ product, as well as tightening the access of third-party developers to consumer Gmail. While we are strengthening our policies for third-party developers, we remain extremely committed to them because of the value they bring our users, and will continue to invest in their success.

These consumer changes will not affect our G Suite customers. G Suite administrators are always in control of the apps their users can access.

Here are the basics of what was announced today, and where you can find more information.

While we are sunsetting Google+ for consumers, we are investing in Google+ for the enterprise where we are seeing growth and our customers are seeing great value

Given the challenges in creating and maintaining consumer Google+ in a way that meets consumer expectations and the very limited usage of the product, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+. To give these users a full opportunity to transition, we will be doing this consumer sunset over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August. Over the coming months, we will provide users with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.

Many of our enterprise customers are finding great value in using Google+ in their companies—so while we bring consumer Google+ to a close, we will take those resources and apply them to Google+ for the enterprise. It enables co-workers to engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network where they can set common access rules and use central controls for their entire organization. We will share more information in the coming days regarding the Google+ enterprise updates, but you can expect the following:

  • A fresh, clean look for Google+ enterprise on the web.

  • New moderation controls to curate posts made by employees to ensure quality content.

  • New enterprise dashboards to view post analytics and engagement metrics.

  • New posting experience with the ability to tag posts by topic.

All of our enterprise Google+ customers benefit from central controls for their entire organization, including employee access management and service on/off controls.  

You can read more about the Google+ news here.

We are limiting third-party developers’ ability to request consumer Gmail data

Transparency and control have always been core data privacy principles, and we're constantly working to ensure these principles are reflected in our products and our ecosystem.

Today, we are updating our User Data Policy for the consumer Gmail API to limit the apps that may seek permission to access consumer Gmail data.  Only apps directly enhancing email functionality — such as email clients, email backup services and productivity services (e.g., CRM and mail merge services) — will be authorized to access this data. Moreover, these apps will need to agree to new rules on handling Gmail data and will be subject to heightened security assessments. Developers can read more details here.

These changes will not impact G Suite customers, as G Suite administrators are always in control of their users’ apps. This ensures that G Suite users can give access only to apps that have been vetted and are trusted by their organization.

We recognize that the decision to change how third-party applications integrate and authenticate with Gmail may impact how developers build apps for Gmail. We will continue to evaluate our policies over time to ensure we continue to support a thriving ecosystem.   

Protecting the privacy and security of our users is never done. Please visit privacy.google.com for more information about our privacy and security commitments.

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