Google has officially announced it will shut down Google+ in April 2019. Below is the statement from Google:
In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers' expectations. We want to thank you for being part of Google+ and provide next steps, including how to download your photos and other content.
On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content, just make sure to do so before April. Note that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time. For example, users may still see parts of their Google+ account via activity log and some consumer Google+ content may remain visible to G Suite users until consumer Google+ is deleted.
As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events.
See the full FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.
If you're a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may download and save your data for your Google+ Community. Starting early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community. Learn more
If you sign in to sites and apps using the Google+ Sign-in button, these buttons will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You'll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons. Learn more
If you've used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019. Learn more
If you're a G Suite customer, Google+ for your G Suite account should remain active. Contact your G Suite administrator for more details. You can also expect a new look and new features soon. Learn more
If you're a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click here to see how this will impact you.
From all of us on the Google+ team, thank you for making Google+ such a special place. We are grateful for the talented group of artists, community builders, and thought leaders who made Google+ their home. It would not have been the same without your passion and dedication.
Google LLC 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043
You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important changes to your Google+ Page, product or account.
Why is Google Shutting Down Google Plus?
A few weeks after Google announced that they would be shutting down Google Inbox, Google has announced that Google+ will be shut down. This announcement came on the heels of a recently announced data breach that happened on the platform during March of 2018.
Launched in 2010, Google+ was the latest attempt in creating a social media platform similar to Facebook. While it may not have been as successful as its competitors, Google+ still has a dedicated following through the communities that have been established. To prepare its users for the shutdown, Google has now created a process that allows users to be able to save and move their Google+ data. We’ll be discussing this process, along with more details about the shutdown of Google’s social media network.
One of the main reasons that Google+ will be shut down can be linked to the data breach that happened on the platform. Over 500,000 accounts had their personal and private information illegally shared without consent by a number of developers. This event happened on March 2018, which was during the same time that Facebook was under intense scrutiny due to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, and months before GDPR was launched.
The most concerning part about this information was the fact that Google did not disclose the news for a number of months, which left a large number of profiles vulnerable. While Google has stated that none of the data was mishandled, data regulators would still point out that the breach was not informed to the public. This issue will most likely lead to investigations in the US and in Europe, which could definitely mean very busy months ahead for Google.
Small User Base
Another reason for shutting down Google+ is due to the low number of users on the platform. When it launched in 2011, people across the internet were already using Facebook and Twitter as their main social media platforms, both receiving a surge in the number of users. This meant that Google+ already has hefty competition when it comes to attracting users to their platform.
Despite having dedicated communities and users, their number is still eclipsed by other social media platforms. Initial attempts to get more users to include making Google+ as a way to log-in to Google services such as YouTube and Gmail, a feature that was eventually removed. In the past few years, Google+ has become a social media platform that caters to specific niches, becoming an alternative platform that is less crowded but has a more passionate community.
While many social media users across the world wouldn’t bother too much on the shutting down of Google+, the small passionate communities in the soon to be gone platform are now looking for a new social media platform where they can recreate the sense of community.
The Shutdown and Saving of Data
Google+ will be shutting down in 2 months, which means that users would have to export their data out of the platform. To help users do this, Google launched a service called Takeout, which makes exporting data a much smoother and more efficient process. All you have to do is to log-in to your Google Account and begin the process of downloading your data.
Millions of businesses are signed up to Google+: it has become an important part of both social media and SEO initiatives. Did you know that Google+ engagement is comparatively better than most social networks? According to SEP, “Google+ active users spend quality time on the site — an average of 3:46 per visit.” And Google+ bounce rate is excellent at 53.6%. See chart below.
So what happens when Google decides to shut down the platform?
You didn’t see that coming but it’s actually going to happen over the next 2 months. To the uninitiated, this may not seem like a problem. But to you that every once in a while uses Google+
The fact is that Google is taking steps to shut down the consumer version of Google+, according to a report released on October 8, 2018, by the company.
The core reasons why Google is making this delicate move is because, according to data from the organization, Google+ has “low usage engagement” — 90% of user sessions on Google+ has a duration of less than 5 seconds.
Also, there’s an undisclosed security flaw that exposed users’ profile data on the platform which was curtailed in March 2018.
Google has plans in place to keep Google+ functioning for enterprise customers and co-workers who use it for communication. For this use case, new features are in place to be rolled out.
As an online marketer, how does this move affect you? What’s the implication on your social media engagement, and most assuredly, your search visibility?
The Impact on Social Media
Even though Google had removed a lot of resources from Google+ there’s still a loyal fan base who don’t want to see it go.
Just look at all the amazing men and women globally who use the network. A vast majority of the users are in the U.S.In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I use Google+ to engage with my target audience. Sure, the platform may not yield a direct result (such as leads or sales), but it adds up.
Building social engagement with fans is time-consuming. And sometimes, you need more than a micro-social site like Twitter to really stand out and build trust with your audience.
Yes, there’s a good reason to shut down the consumer version of Google+, especially after the discovery of a massive data leakage that exposed private profile information.
However, what if Google improves it? Why not build strong security systems to prevent this from happening in the future?
Business consultants, startups, and even freelancers use Google+. In fact, 62% of B2B businesses still use Google+.For example, Lewis, a freelance content writer who has spent most of his career life in the Costa Rican rainforest, begins his morning conversing with his friends on Google+, sipping coffee, and reading his feeds on Google+
Google+ might not be a noisy social network like Facebook and Twitter, but like Lewis and several millions of users, it’s been a stealth social circle where you’re able to engage in meaningful conversations, connect with like-minded people, and build the insightful relationships.