It’s The End Of An Era For Google+
Google+ is a social networking site owned and operated by Google. Launched in June 2011, Google+ boasted features such as photo upload and editing tools, status updates, multi-person instant messaging, text and video chats, events, location tag, to name a few. Google+ was recognised as a popular and rapidly growing network.
On October 8, 2018, Google announced that it was shutting down Google+. Low user engagement and a software error was circled as the main issue and subsequently the demise of the once powerful social platform. Google recently confirmed that they plan to fully shut down the site by August 2019, allowing time for users to download and migrate their information.
What Happened to Google+?
Google+ has been branded in the past as “too complex, lacking focus and suffered from under-developed features.” A statement which seemed to ring true as noticeably over the years the once thriving platform for networking has slowly dwindled down to a mere ember of the platform ablaze with activity it once was.
“As someone who can say I’ve built many lasting friendships, business partnerships, and memories on this platform, even I have stopped using it over the last couple of years. Nevertheless, I will be sad to see it go. And I hope that Google doesn’t give up on social–they had something truly special for a little while, and if they learn from this, they will do better next time.” – Dustin Stout Digital Marketing Manager
To make matters worse, Google’s team also found a huge security fault that could result in exposing significant amounts of users and user data. They’ve admitted that over 500,000 profiles were potentially affected by this oversight of inspection. Aware of the recent backlash Facebook had faced regarding user privacy, Google did not wish to deal with a similar controversy and felt it safer to close the doors on the already unpopular social networking site.
What to Expect Next?
With Google recently announcing Google+ users have until August 2019 to download and migrate their information, the last of the sites users will most likely jump ship to Facebook, the only existing network that functions similarly to Google+. With Facebook you can connect, join groups, meet new people, share photos, create video content, interact via private messaging system and have the kind of networking experience you used to have on Google+. More important than features though is longevity. With over 2 billion users Facebook offers the security that Google+ was unable to do. For those who have content they’d like to save from their Google+ profiles, more details from Google will be released in the coming months.
“Google+ is an experiment that has been useful and incredibly revealing: People are hardwired to connect. Give them an environment where they can do that free of ads and with sufficient functionality and you will get the most unlikely communities coming together and the most unlikely people forming friendships, sharing information and exchanging ideas. These are all value-driven, values inspired, human activities. With Google+ going away and Facebook still being a privacy-free zone where no individual is ever made to feel they matter, it feels like we are regressing in our connectivity instead of progressing.
“This is not the case however. The web matures as we do. Technology is evolving rapidly and we, as digital natives, are also acquiring new skills. Our world is, once again, morphing. The skills we learnt in Google Plus: the openness, the free sharing of information and ideas, the willingness to take a risk and openly share our thoughts, are going to be there as we float across the web. The Google+ diaspora will be transformative and despite the sadness of its closure those of us who experienced its power to transcend barriers and bridge cultures will always consider it a success.” – David Amerland, Business Journalist