Google+

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Google+
Google+ logo
Employee captured tearing page.png
URL https://plus.google.com/
Project status Closing (consumer version)
Archiving status Not saved yet
Project source Unknown
Project tracker Unknown
IRC channel #googleminus
Project lead Unknown

Google+ (Google Plus) is Google's social media platform. The consumer version is planned to shut down in April 2019, and the API will go down before mid-March 2019.

Shutdown of the consumer platform

On 2018-10-08, Google announced that they would shut down Google+ for consumers over the next 10 months, i.e. by the end of August 2019[1]:

Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+

...

At the beginning of this year, we started an effort called Project Strobe—a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access. This project looked at the operation of our privacy controls, platforms where users were not engaging with our APIs because of concerns around data privacy, areas where developers may have been granted overly broad access, and other areas in which our policies should be tightened.

Finding 1: There are significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ product that meets consumers’ expectations.

Action 1: We are shutting down Google+ for consumers.

Over the years we’ve received feedback that people want to better understand how to control the data they choose to share with apps on Google+. So as part of Project Strobe, one of our first priorities was to closely review all the APIs associated with Google+.

This review crystallized what we’ve known for a while: that 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. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.

...

The review did highlight the significant challenges in creating and maintaining a successful Google+ that meets consumers’ expectations. Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.

To give people a full opportunity to transition, we will implement this wind-down over a 10-month period, slated for completion by the end of next August. Over the coming months, we will provide consumers with additional information, including ways they can download and migrate their data.

At the same time, we have many enterprise customers who are finding great value in using Google+ within their companies. Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network. Enterprise customers can set common access rules, and use central controls, for their entire organization. We’ve decided to focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses. We will share more information in the coming days.

...

On 10 December 2018, in the wake of another security issue, Google announced that the shutdown was being moved to April 2019 and that the API would shut down "within the next 90 days"[2]:

In October, we announced that we’d be sunsetting the consumer version of Google+ and its APIs because of the significant challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations, as well as the platform’s low usage.

We’ve recently determined that some users were impacted by a software update introduced in November that contained a bug affecting a Google+ API. We discovered this bug as part of our standard and ongoing testing procedures and fixed it within a week of it being introduced. No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the app developers that inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.

With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days. In addition, we have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019. While we recognize there are implications for developers, we want to ensure the protection of our users.

...

We will sunset all Google+ APIs in the next 90 days. Developers can expect to hear more from us on this topic in the coming days, and can stay informed by continuing to check the Google+ developer page.

We have also decided to accelerate sunsetting consumer Google+, bringing it forward from August 2019 to April 2019. We want to give users ample opportunity to transition off of consumer Google+, and over the coming months, we will continue to provide users with additional information, including ways they can safely and securely download and migrate their data.

Another announcement was sent out through email on 2019 February 1st.

You've received this email because you have a consumer (personal) Google+ account or you manage a Google+ page.

In December 2018, we <a href="https://blog.google/technology/safety-security/expediting-changes-google-plus">announced</a> 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 <a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1045788">download and save</a> 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 <a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9217723">FAQ</a> for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.

If you're a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may <a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1045788">download and save</a> 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. <a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1045788#communities">Learn more</a>

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. <a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9217723#signin">Learn more</a>

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. <a href="https://support.google.com/plus/answer/9217723#blogger">Learn more</a>

If you're a G Suite customer, Google+ for your G Suite account should remain active. Contact your <a href="https://support.google.com/a/answer/6208960"> G Suite administrator</a> for more details. You can also expect a new look and new features soon. <a href="https://cloud.google.com/blog/products/g-suite/new-enterprise-grade-features-in-googleplus-help-businesses-drive-collaboration">Learn more</a>

If you're a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click <a href="https://developers.google.com/+/api-shutdown">here</a> 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.

References