On October 8, 2018, Google announced it will be shutting down the consumer version of Google+. I don’t think this came as a big surprise to most. Google+ had potential solely because it was affiliated and created by Google, but it never really caught on. Google reports the network had low usage and engagement with 90% of Google+ user sessions lasting less than 5 seconds.
In March 2018, Google discovered and patched a bug that allowed applications connected to Google+ through the API to access Profile fields that were not marked as public. It does not include any other data you may have posted or connected to Google+ or any other service, like Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers or G Suite content. They also found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.
Because of this bug and because of the low usage, Google decided to close the platform over the next 10 months. The completion date for the “wind-down” by the end of August 2019. Google will be providing additional information including ways you can download and migrate your data.
What Should You Do
Below are a few Google+ usage situations and what you and your business should do ahead of the August 2019 shutdown.
If you consistently post to the platform, you should stop posting and reallocate the time and energy to other areas. You can keep an eye out for the additional information on how do download your data. There probably isn’t a huge benefit of downloading your data, but it can’t hurt anything either.
It used to be good practice to link your website to your Google+ account and vice versa. You will need to do an audit of places that link to your Google+ profile. Remove the link from your website. Does your Facebook page link to the profile? Does your LinkedIn profile link to your Google+ profile? You can also use this time to reevaluate other social media links and whether they are still relevant.
Move Your Community
Some users and businesses used Google+ Communities to communicate with like-minded users and to create a group around a specific topic. If you run a Community on Google+, you will need to make plans to migrate to a different platform. Facebook and LinkedIn Groups are two very good choices.
Google+ also offers a paid Enterprise version of the network. Using the Enterprise version, companies can create an online community where its employees can share team updates, ideas, interests, etc. in real time. It basically provides solutions for coworkers to engage on a secure corporate social network.
Google announced Google+ Enterprise will NOT be shutting down and will continue to run as normal.
Well, there you have it. Most likely the fact that Google+ is shutting down will not affect many of you. But odds are you have a profile on the network and you should take the steps above to do a little house cleaning before the network is no more.