It’s official: Google is shutting down Google Plus for consumers. The renowned technology company has waved its white flag on Google Plus, also known as Google+ or G+, and has began its process of deleting all consumer accounts on the platform. But what happened? Why did Google Plus fail?
Google Plus’ Beginnings
When Google Plus launched eight years ago, it experienced strong growth and promise. Within its first month, Google Plus had 25 million users. By the end of its first year of existence, the Google Plus community consisted of 90 million users.
Its quick growth proved itself as a serious threat for other leading social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. In 2012, continuing its expansion, Google began requiring users to create a Google Plus account if they wanted to sign up for Gmail. This made it easier for the influx of new users to access other improved Google tools, such as Hangouts and Communities, but it unfortunately marked the beginning of more forced changes to come.
Google Plus Makes More Mistakes
Two years after its inception, Google Plus’ rapid growth and engagement began to significantly slow down. To get more users back on board with growth, Google Plus claimed itself to be a “social layer” instead of a social network and began acting as a link between other major sites. For example, in addition to forcing Gmail users to make a Google Plus account, Google Plus integrated itself into the YouTube community. Until 2015, if YouTube users wanted to comment on videos, they had to do so through a Google Plus account. This attempted forced practice was not well-received, and it further hurt Google Plus’ brand image since users were confused about what type of platform Google Plus was turning into.
The Google Plus Shutdown
On top of its overall plummet in growth and usage, the Google Plus shutdown also comes from the platform snowballing into a huge security liability for Google. The powerhouse company admitted to two serious data leaks that could have exposed information from the millions of Google Plus users. After the first breach in October 2018, Google announced it would end its Google Plus services by August 2019. Shortly after, a second breach occurred, and Google announced that the shutdown process would be sped up by four months. This April 2019 marks the start for official content deletion on the platform, which includes photos and videos, in all Google Plus accounts.
Though Google Plus had its positives, such as allowing users to connect with their communities through Circles, the bad unfortunately outweighed the good, and Google Plus couldn’t live up to its high expectations. The Google Plus shutdown mainly comes from Google Plus not being able to find its footing to stay competitive, fresh or relevant after its successful launch. Upon its demise, Google admitted that 90% of its Google Plus user sessions didn’t even last longer than five seconds.
What’s Next for Google Plus?
Although Google Plus is dead for typical consumers, Google remains committed to “focusing on enterprise efforts” and will be “launching new features” for businesses. In the meantime, there are still other platforms and social networks out there meant for connecting and engaging with people. An experienced advertising agency can help you leave your impact and reach success.
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