Google today launched a new Google+ feature that further makes sure private conversations remain private. Restricted communities, as the new feature is called, is an extra layer of security that ensures only users in a given organization can join.

The feature lets organizations decide if their restricted community will be open to everyone at the company or limited to just employees who receive an invitation. Google explains: “Whether it’s designs of your beta product or notes from your team off-site, anything you post will remain restricted to the organization.”

Restricted Communities 2 Ink 42 730x385 Google launches restricted Google+ communities to let businesses make conversations private or invite only

Yet it goes further than administrators merely being able to set restricted communities as the default for the whole organization. Employees can also choose to create communities open to people outside of their domain, so clients, agencies, or business partners can join in the discussion.

Once a community is created, an employee can share files, videos, photos, and events from Google Drive. Community owners can change settings, manage membership, or invite other team members to join.

Google has long touted that Google+ is an “ideal tool” for groups who want to have social conversations without broadcasting their thoughts to the world. Yet businesses require more security than just Google+’s Circle feature, and so Google is now delivering.

Targeting businesses is an area where Google can seriously get ahead in the social network race. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, Google has experience in offering its services to enterprises. It’s also likely gearing up against Microsoft’s Yammer.

Much like Microsoft managed to do with Windows and Office, Google is likely hoping to get business users accustomed to using Google+ at work so they may want to use it at home. That’s a difficult long-term game to play, but Google certainly has the patience for it.

See also – Google+ starts offering custom URLs to accounts that are 30+ days old, have 10+ followers and a profile photo and YouTube and Google+ get option to assign Communication Managers with restricted permissions