A Final Farewell for Google+
Though it’s likely a good portion of us haven’t used the failed social network for some time now, Google+ is officially done-zo. Yesterday, a Google spokesperson told The Verge that “the shutdown is underway as of this morning.” The company will begin phasing out all personal Google+ accounts over the next few months but content deletion—including photos and videos in a Google+ album archive—will begin now.
“While our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps,” Google’s Ben Smith wrote in October. He then went on to add that “90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds."
In the early days, Google+ thought it would be a contender against Facebook and Twitter, but the platform never even came close to scratching the surface. Nonetheless, they continued to make an effort by adding Hangouts, video chats, instant messaging, and photo storage.
Aside from its low usage and engagement, Google+ was also subject to several data leaks that put millions of Google+ users and outside developers at risk of having their personal information exposed. The first vulnerability was kept well under wraps, but is ultimately what drove Google to make the final decision for the social network. Originally, the company decided on an August 2019 termination date, but another security issue popped up in December 2018 marking the final straw for Google+.
After announcing the sooner-than-expected shutdown date, Google released information on how users and moderators could download their data before it was gone forever. They also added that G Suite accounts will remain active but will have a new look and feel. Additional features for these users will be released down the road.