Google has an official closing date for its troubled Google+ social network: April 2.
The search engine giant says on that date Google+ accounts and any pages created will be shut down and begin being deleted. Should you have any photos or other content you want to save, “just make sure to do so before April,” the company said in a blog post.
Photos and videos also stored in Google Photos will not be affected. Google has posted directions on how to download an archive of your Google+ content. Any photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
But the Alphabet-owned Google launched Google+ in June 2011 in an attempt to challenge Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter, in the social networking competition. A successful Google+ could also have served as a social component to connect Google’s various products.
But the network never gained significant traction. A Stone Temple Consulting study from 2015 found 111 million active profiles on Google+ and only 6.7 million users who had 50 or more posts ever, according to a story on Forbes about the findings. In comparison, Facebook reports 1.5 billion daily active users.
Google began accelerating its shutdown last year after announcing in October 2018 that a breach found earlier in the year had compromised up to 500,000 users’ data. Then two months later, Google said a software update in November had caused a security bug that leaked the data—such as name, email and occupation—of 52.5 million users.
Google said in the blog post the decision to shut down Google+ was made “due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.”
Here’s the email being sent to Google+ users:
You’ve received this email because you have a consumer (personal) Google+ account or you manage a Google+ page.
In December 2018, we announced 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 download and save 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 FAQ for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.
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. Learn more
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. Learn more
If you’re a G Suite customer, Google+ for your G Suite account should remain active. Contact your G Suite administratorfor more details. You can also expect a new look and new features soon. Learn more
If you’re a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, click here 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.