It is closed curtains for Google+. Yes, Google Plus shutting down is official. If you have an account on the social media platform Google+, you are sure to have received an email in your verified email account about this information. The date fixed for this is April 2, 2019.
Why Google Plus is shutting down?
For people to understand why Google+ is shutting down, they need to know why and how it was created. Google launched Google+ after a couple of failed attempts in becoming popular on the social networking platform.
How Google+ was created?
Well, it was the time when there were many experiments happening in the social media front. There was a lot of pressure on the big tech companies about giving a tough challenge to Facebook.
Google+ was launched in 2011 and had many features that included text and video chat called Hangouts, ability to upload and share photos, group connections into Circles, posting photos and updating the status.
It was a head-on war with the popularity of Facebook. Google+ became a hit in the United States and India and saw phenomenal growth of users.
In the year of its launch, Google+ had 90 million users. But the hard-hitting fact was that inspite of the growth in the number of users, those who actually stayed in it decreased continuously.
The staggering difference was for everyone to see. While users stayed on Facebook for more than 7 hours, it was only about 3 minutes on Google+.
Separation of Hangouts and Google Photos from Google+:
In 2014, the number of Google+ account holders jumped to more than 540 million. This was because any user who signed up for other Google services like Gmail got automatically signed in to Google+.
By then, the core Google+ function of uploading and storing photos had become Google Photos standalone service. Even the instant messaging service Hangouts became a separate entity.
Many changes were incorporated from the start of 2015, but Google+ never survived its downfall. The rumors of Google Plus shutting down started to gain ground.
The buzz had started as back as in 2014 about the failed social network site. Facing stiff competition from Facebook and Twitter, Google+ never lived up to the expectation of its users.
The Google team had used various tactics to introduce Google+ effectively. Users who signed up for Google got an automatically created account on Google+. But the reality was that more than 90% of the users never logged in to this site. Also, the existing users never remained for more than 5 seconds in their Google+ account.
The big blow came when a bug was reported on a Google+ API that the team fixed fast. Though they claim that it never seriously affected any of its users, the fact remains that the personal data of the users were compromised.
By 2015, Google had become aware that it was no longer in the wise interest of the company to keep the product running. There were rumors of the team being assigned to other components like Hangout and Photos. It simply made no sense to put in the resources on a mission that never lived up to the expectation. The Google Plus shutting down became a hard-hitting reality. So finally, after a lot of dilly-dallying, it is an end to Google+ now.
Google Plus Shut Down
There are two main reasons for Google+ shut down. We would love to add a third point. Read on-
1. A Bug
Yes. In Dec 2018, Google had published a blog written by Mr. David Thacker, VP, Product Management, G Suite. He had clearly mentioned the details of the bug and their investigation reports.
The bug was affecting a Google+ API and it affected approximately more than 50 million users worldwide. This was found as a part of their standard ongoing testing procedures.
Though immediate action was taken and the problem was fixed within a week, Google decided to go ahead with the closure of its social media platform Google+.
2. Low User Base
Let us put it in a different way. Google+ suffered a low user base because it did not offer anything unique or new. Other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube understood the pulse of its users and made rapid changes to suit the taste palate of its users.
Alas, it was not so with Google+. Its users can vouch for the fact that they never ever found anything interesting that made them log into Google+ again.
3. Popularity of Facebook
Facebook started gaining traction in 2009 and had already overtaken other social media platforms. This report on how Facebook, WeChat, and Instagram had taken the lead in the year 2014 is interesting. Google+, by then, had suffered a 98% drop year on year. The audiences on it were inactive and it was the year when Facebook and Instagram ruled the roost. Equipped with strong consumer data, the reach of Facebook was compelling. The Google Plus shut down was imminent.
What are the Google+ account holders expected to do?
From the email sent to all the Google+ account holders, here is the information that we share with you-
- New profiles (account creation), events, communities, or pages on Google+ will be not allowed from February 4th.
- The content on your Google+ account will be deleted from April 2nd onwards.
- Photos and videos from the Album Archive on Google+ will also be deleted.
- The users can download and save this content before April.
- The photos and videos on Google Photos will remain untouched.
- The deletion of content on Google+ will be a layered process. It will take a few months to completely delete content from the Album Archive, pages and accounts. Therefore some of the users may still be able to view their profiles.
- The comments made through Google+ on other sites will also be removed by March 7th.
- The comments made through Google+ on your own site will be removed from Blogger by Feb 4th.
- Sign in to sites using Google+ will be disabled and may be replaced by a Google sign-in button (in some cases only)
- Any Google+ community owner or moderator has to download and save the content from the community. More details regarding the downloading will be shared from the month of March.
- The G Suite account for G Suite customers will remain active.
The email now of Google Plus shutting down is a mere formality. It is the end for Google+. The consolation is that there are millions of users who actively use and trust other Google products like Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive, or Hangouts.
Like the wise words of Steve Jobs” You cannot look at the competition and say you are going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you are going to do it differently”. Here, Google+ failed to do it differently.
If you have anything in mind about why you liked or disliked Google+, say it in the comments below.