Whether or not you associate Google with privacy, it has always been a major component of Google+. From the beginning, Google's "circles" sharing concept enabled the kind of social sharing experience that wasn't available on competing social platforms. In fact, it even prompted Facebook to offer a similar option to its users.
Essentially, with circles, you can share to the exact people you want to, rather than just one person or everybody (though these are options as well).
Today, Google announced the addition of another privacy layer to Google+ with restricted communities. The offering was launched with businesses in mind.
"Whether it’s designs of your beta product or notes from your team off-site, anything you post will remain restricted to the organization," says Google+ product manager Michael Cai. "You can decide if your restricted community will be open to everyone at your company or private, joinable by invitation only. While administrators can set restricted communities as the default for your organization, you can always choose to create communities open to people outside of your domain, so clients, agencies or business partners can join in the discussion."
"Once a community is created, you’ll be able to share files from Google Drive as well as videos, events and photos," he adds. "Community owners can easily change settings, manage membership or invite other team members to join and jump into the conversation."
Google launched Communities for Google+ less than a year ago, but today's announcement could be a key component in getting businesses to use them more.
If you restrict a community to your organization, there are several options: open within your domain with anyone in your organization able to join; open within your domain with moderator approval needed for members to join; private in your domain with moderator approval needed for members to join; private in your domain and hidden from searches.
More on restricted communities here.