Because some files can be considered confidential or sensitive in nature depending on the person viewing them, especially in regulated industries, Google is now allowing Workspace admins to completely disable file and photo sharing in Google Chat. Admins will also have the option of enabling just and only images or files if they wish.
By doing this, the flow of information inside and outside of an organization can remain protected and properly managed. Google states that one aspect of this that will not be affected is link sharing. Any items directly linked to via a URL (think Drive) in Chat will still be accessible to whoever has permission to view them.
The same goes for giphy links and emoji. Being off by default, admins can choose whether or not it should be enabled at the domain level, the organizational unit level, or neither. If your Workspace admin has gone through these steps, your image or file share button in Google Chat may be greyed out entirely, indicating that sharing is impossible.
You can see in the examples above that when a user attempts to upload an image or share a file, they will receive an error message stating that the system admin has disabled the feature(s). I think this is an important security update that should have existed prior, especially with new Workspace tiers like Frontline being added over this past year. The only unfortunate thing is that this is seeing a limited rollout that excludes many tiers that would benefit greatly from it – including Frontline. Here’s to hoping that changes quickly.
Google is not shying away from beefing its digital classroom/workplace SaaS up, and it shows. I’m interested to see what else they add. I hope that more organizations can utilize Chat now that this is in place. Does this sound useful to you and your users? You can expect a full rollout of this feature over the next few days for both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains, and across the web and mobile. It’s a simple update, so there’s no wonder it’s a quick push, but it is awesome to see something take less than two weeks for Workspace implementation for once!
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