Google+ is Officially Shutting Down

Google+ is Officially Shutting Down

Remember the guy with the sandwich board and a sign saying, “The End Is Coming”? Well, for G+ it really is.  That’s because G+ (Google Plus) is shutting down officially on April 2nd 2019. In this article, Convertico Media, leading digital marketing agency in Cyprus is looking at the shutdown facts and what you need to do now. Are we happy about the shutdown? A little bit but right now, let’s talk about the facts:

What Was Google Plus?

Google first discussed G+ in June 2011. This was after several failed social media attempts including Orkut, Google Friend Connect and Google Buzz. Led by Vic Gundotra and Bradley Horowitz, G+ was Google’s social media network. It centrered around users creating groups of contacts called “Circles” and joining communities where they could share mutual interests. G+ also introduced Hangouts, where you could video chat with up to 10 people in one of your Circles at once.

What Went Wrong?

It’s not like Google to fail at something. In fact, Google+ was once heralded to topple Facebook in its early days! The search engine giant has the monopoly everywhere else. But G+ showed that Google doesn’t do social media well. In fact, in recent months stats showed that 90% of Google+ user sessions were less than five seconds long.

  • The network’s inability to control spam became a major issue for users
  • Google+ enforced a “real names” policy angering many users who wanted to use pseudonyms or nicknames
  • Google began to require users to have a Google+ account in order to sign up for Gmail, this created a big backlash
  • Users found the circles complicated with many admitting that they were never quite sure of their privacy on the network
  • Google+’s forced integration with YouTube was badly handled and unpopular
  • Engagement was low, distribution was mixed and it was only being used by tech early adopters, not the mainstream
  • Data misuse scandals like Cambridge Analytica that damaged Facebook hit G+ when a security bug in 2015 compromised 496,951 users’ full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship statuses

What Should You Do Now?

“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.” say Google. This means that G+ users have slightly over two months to retrieve their Google+ data before it’s gone forever. The data that will be deleted includes

  • Photos and videos in personal albums
  • Posts and updates you have made
  • Chat history on the network
  • Corporate Google+ pages

What else?

  • Remember that photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted. Additionally, Google+ for G Suite will remain active, there are no plans to shut down the enterprise version at this time.
  • Users can create a zipped file archive of their personal data including photos, history, profile and posts. The process is fairly straightforward and can be done It’s also advisable to post an update advising any G+ specific contacts to keep in contact with you on your other channels.
  • Companies should remove the G+ icon from their channel, signature and corporate literature and update any links.

You can read Google’s full FAQ about the shutdown here. Are you happy about the G+ shutdown? Message us and let us know. Additionally, we recommend you speak to our team about retaining your company data and improving your social media presence after G+.