Google to shut down Google+

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 8, 2018
Updated • Dec 11, 2018

Google just announced that it will sunset the company's social networking service Google+ for consumers in the coming 10 month period.

Google+ was Google's last attempt at creating a Facebook competitor that would put Google on equal footing with the social networking giant in regards to user data and number of users.

Google+ received mixed reviews and ratings when Google launched it in 2011 after it retired Google Buzz, another attempt at gaining traction in the social networking world.

The launch of Google+ felt forced, especially since Google rewarded webmasters who integrated the service into their sites and switched the comment system and inbox system on YouTube and other sites to Google+.

Basically, what Google did back then was to push Google+ accounts by restricting functionality on popular sites that was not restricted prior to that.

new google plus

Google started an internal project called Strobe in the beginning of 2018 that looked at "third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data" and "privacy controls, platforms where users were not engaging" with APIs due to privacy concerns and other areas where Google policies "should be tightened".

One of the findings of the project team was that Google+ "has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption" and that it "has seen limited user interaction with apps". Google found out that the service had low user interaction as 90% of sessions ended in less than 5 seconds.

Google's project team analyzed the available APIs provided to developers and found out that these were "challenging to develop and maintain". A bug was found in addition to that all that allowed access to profile files that Google+ users shared with contacts that were not public.

Limited to static optional profile fields such as email address, occupation, or gender, Google found "no evidence that any Profile data was misused".

Google's review team concluded:

Given these challenges and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.

The company plans to retire the consumer version of Google+ over the course of a 10-month period. The consumer part of the service will be retired at the end of August 2019 April 2019.

Google plans to make announcements in the coming months that provide consumers with additional information such as options to migrate data or download it, the latter likely through Google's Takeout service.

The change affects only the consumer version of Google+. Google plans to turn Google+ into an Enterprise-focused product.

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.

Closing Words

If you break down Google's announcement to the core you will realize that Google decided to shut down Google Plus because of low user interaction with the service and the prospect of investing lots of resources into the service to make it more attractive to users.

So, instead of sticking with the product, Google decided to shut it down for consumers and turn it into an Enterprise-exclusive product instead.

I don't use social media that much and used Google+ only to publish links to new articles. The service has a massive spam problem that Google apparently could not eliminate.

Now You: What is your take on the shutting down of Google Plus? Will Google make another attempt at conquering the social media vertical?

Google shuts down Google+
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Google shuts down Google+
Google just announced that it will sunset the company's social networking service Google+ for consumers in the coming 10 month period.
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  1. Marti Martz said on October 11, 2018 at 12:52 am

    From a developers perspective we noticed this issue around late April, 2018 and attempted to remedy it… however it failed to keep the server up under certain use cases so it was tabled/ponied. The only thing I can assume is that Google wanted to push G+ over their basic Google services.

    > There is … ahh… ahh.. another * Yoda

    On a related note there is another “undisclosed” security vulnerability, development side with authentication, that was discovered earlier.

    While some may argue it’s privacy vs. security, Google definitely chose to facilitate hacking sites and stuck with the privacy aspect which is unusual *(hint: similar to the GDPR requirements for deletion now)*. I encourage those interested to see if they can find it development side. Today, at least, is my whistle blowing day off. ;) :)

  2. Bruce R. Tremmel said on October 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    I never wanted to use this program but felt google was forcing me to open an account and get me to use my friends or clients to use it as well. How do I save or migrate my files to the original Gmail without losing anything or closing out other “connected” items. Photos etc. what is involved in getting this out of the system and leaving other things as is?

  3. Richard Steven Hack said on October 9, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Just another example that, contrary to popular opinion, there are no “geniuses” at Google – just another bunch of corporate peons paid to come up with stuff no one asked for, ever, and no one needs – which is why it ends up being killed a year or two later.

    As for Facebook and Google, remember they were both supported by the CIA in their creation, as a means of conducting the sort of social monitoring and control that the CIA couldn’t do on its own.

    How the CIA made Google

    Revealed: Facebook’s CIA Connections…

    1. daveb said on October 10, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Geniuses are often amazing in one context and lacking in another. They hired and continue to hire a lot of people that are geniuses in their given area, mostly around search and distributed computing. A lot of the other projects never got this kind of support. G+ was clearly a side project done as you observed as a money grab by business types seeing easy money on the table. Having technical experts and/or geniuses attempt to craft a social enterprise was always going to be a failure.

  4. Clairvaux said on October 9, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Good. I remember not being able to ask a question on an important program’s official forum, because you needed a Google + account for that. Which I always refused to create.

  5. asd said on October 9, 2018 at 11:29 am

    and nothing of value was lost.

  6. ShintoPlasm said on October 9, 2018 at 10:55 am

    Its legacy will live on in people’s “+1” comments :)

    1. Jay said on October 9, 2018 at 3:36 pm

      +1 ShintoPlasm

  7. Sandra said on October 9, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Still many supporters of G+ and Facebook didn’t shut down after it’s huge data breach or did you all forget that one. As for porn on the site it is easy to report mute and block the posts you do not want to see and you don’t have to worry about de-friending anyone. For anyone who still uses G+ and wants to see the great business ranking tool hang around then you can sign a petition here

  8. Lindsay said on October 9, 2018 at 8:42 am

    “We have lots of users, honest!”

    Later: “Shutting it down won’t affect many people”


  9. ilev said on October 9, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I am really disappointed that you didn’t mention the huge security bug in Google+ that gave outside developers potential access to private Google+ profile data between 2015 and March 2018.

    Google who pride themselves in finding and exposing (even if not fixed yet) security bugs in other platforms, decided, NOT TO DISCLOSE the bug to the public in fear of ‘immediate regulatory interest’. Chief Executive Sundar Pichai was briefed on the plan not to notify users after an internal committee had reached that decision.

    1. Rush said on October 9, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      This article claims more than 200,000 people’s personal data were compromised

  10. haha said on October 9, 2018 at 5:41 am

    I never use G+, except only when logging in youtube..

  11. Wolf Gibbs said on October 9, 2018 at 4:42 am

    #KeepPlusAlive pass it on, There are many (big,) community’s that are still on google plus, don’t separate them – Wolf Gibbs

  12. svim said on October 9, 2018 at 2:03 am

    I had high hopes for it when it was released, made several posts and things looked promising. But at this point I rarely use it so this isn’t a big news item for me.
    Bottom line is it’s going to be hard to de-throne Facebook. A lot of people can only live in the now but eventually history, even online services history with its highly compressed timeline, shows that eventually some service will come along and turn into the ‘next’ Facebook. But obviously not G+.

  13. Gavin B said on October 8, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Google minus

  14. Yuliya said on October 8, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Good riddance. I remember how much I struggled to untie my gMail/Google/YouTube account from this attrocity. In the past it also used to be a mandatory Google application on Android devices, my Nexus 4 had this crap while on 4.4.

    1. beergas said on October 9, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Agree. Never bothered with the struggle myself. Just left it on back burner and only read youtube comments. Did notice when doing research on reverse tethering for Android/PC that non-US posters seemed to be still posting comments the most.
      Since Android phones are big in India & Southeast Asia I guess they just worked through the enforced tie up.
      Washington Post has story today about how to delete Google+ account.

    2. Anonymous said on October 9, 2018 at 6:18 am

      lol true. I never commented on Youtube since they forced me use Google+ to comment

  15. TelV said on October 8, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    I’ve got a Youtube channel which always prompts me to link to Google+ if I upload something, but I’ve never been to the G+ site and have no idea what it looks like even.

    I’m not really into small talk and don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any similar type of account. I use LINE which is a chat app on the phone, but that’s about it really.

    I think FB is too ingrained in users minds now and even the mighty Google will find it difficult to compete with them especially now with all the data breaches taking place these days.

    Interesting article in the Guardian newspaper regarding Google+’s own data breach which they didn’t disclose apparently:

  16. Graham said on October 8, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    They’ve tried it with Orkut, Buzz, and Plus. They cannot overtake Facebook, no matter how much they try to delude themselves.

    1. Sandra said on October 9, 2018 at 10:42 am

      It was never about creating a Facebook or even overtaking Facebook. Besides many users on Fb have more then one profile which means you could slash the 1 billion supposed membership number in half. G+ is much quicker to use then Fb not bulky and slow like Fb which is why it does not take long to stop by and post your stuff. Most of the action on G+ happens in the communities so that is why you don’t see it when you just visit as a non user. G+ is and has always been much better then Facebook

  17. ULBoom said on October 8, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    Less than 5 sec for 90% of visits? Implies most visits are by mistake. Plus spam is indeed a huge issue but google does nothing about spam beyond hiding it. Plus sends junk from users in vastly different cultures promoting stuff you don’t understand much less like.

    How do they expect this atrocious “service” to be used enterprisifyly?

    1. daveb said on October 10, 2018 at 5:13 am

      Im certain this largely came about by google forcing all users of their other products to also have an account with G+. All these people might visit for a moment to see if they could change a setting or to adjust something within their account with no intention of using g+. I know for myself the total cluster-f of forcing youtube IDs to be collapsed into G+ accounts by default led to many micro visists as I set it back.

  18. Bobby Phoenix said on October 8, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    That sucks for me. I use it everyday. Much more than Facebook or Twitter.

  19. Steve said on October 8, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Google+ once was a decent Social Media, but has tumbled to the ground over the years.
    Too many Bots, ignorant and foolish individuals posting nonsense and Porn, that annoy good users.

    I stopped posting there, after several of my friends decided to move on to bigger and better sites, then I discovered Gab, an open minded and more than honest Social media that better suits my needs.
    Anybody interested can sign up and create an account at:

    While the site is still in it’s infancy, it is growing by leaps and bounds every day of the week.

    1. stefann said on October 8, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      I was on Gab for a while, but was banned TWICE for being anti-Trumpster. Gab is same BS as all other censored social media online…

      Now i don’t waste time on such crap anymore, better have a REAL life ! :)

      1. daveb said on October 10, 2018 at 5:10 am

        Yea Gab is getting to be known as a center for fascist ideaology.

        Good for you for your anti-trump posting whatever it was.

      2. Anon said on October 10, 2018 at 7:44 pm

        I don’t understand you people. What do you have with Trump? He is good for the economy and for the American people, the working class that is. He was voted and won fairly, even when there was massive election fraud for Hillary Clinton. Please stop spewing hate, calling Trump a racist and other names the “mainstream” media is talking about him. This is getting ridiculous. At least give solid arguments why Trump is bad.

        In regards to Google censorship, I recently found a document from a leaked Google briefing and a video explaining it:
        It’s called “The Good Censor”. If that isn’t sinister, I don’t know what it is.

        @stefann About Gab, I find it hard to believe that you were banned for you comments as long as it was not something illegal. Please tell me exactly what you wrote that got you banned. I’m curious.

        @daveb “Gab is getting to be known as a center for fascist ideaology”. Another comment that comes right from the “mainstream” media. The people that use Gab are mostly there because they were banned on Twitter for their comments that were more conservative and not left leaning. While there may be exceptions, Gab users are more nationalistic I would say, but in no way they want to control everything as in a totalitarian or fascistic state. All they want is to live free and express their opinion. The platform is for free speech, as advertised.

      3. John Fenderson said on October 12, 2018 at 1:04 am


        I don’t think there’s a single thing you said there that I would call “accurate”. But this isn’t the place for political discussions. This isn’t even a US-based website. Perhaps we can at least keep our infighting out of other people’s sandboxes.

      4. Anon said on October 12, 2018 at 7:10 am

        @John Fenderson

        I know this isn’t a place for political discussions. I replied to their comments. I’m not looking for a fight either. And if you tell me I’m not at all “accurate”, at least say why. It’s like I would reply to any comment to say that someone is wrong and you have to take my word for it, because I know better. It is arrogant to act like that.

      5. John Fenderson said on October 12, 2018 at 10:52 pm


        I really shouldn’t have replied at all (and my comment about appropriateness of venue was not solely directed at you — it included myself as well, paradoxically enough).

        I am not about to engage in a debate on these issues here, for a whole bunch of reasons (including that it’s pointless). If you want to debate with those who disagree with you, there are literally hundreds of places you can do that in.

        I only mentioned that I disagreed with you because I felt it appropriate as a kind of disclaimer.

      6. Klaas Vaak said on October 9, 2018 at 5:47 am

        @stefann: that’s the most sensible comment about social media I have seen. I agree, most of them are crap. Unfortunately many people don’t realise the dangers they run, and when one tells them they look at you as if you are speaking Martian.

      7. stefann said on October 8, 2018 at 11:06 pm

        Can add that several of my friends have been banned on Gab for the same reason as i was….

      8. Johhny Rocket said on October 9, 2018 at 7:52 pm

        And yet you still post here when there are umpteen other sites to post your anti-T vitroil.?

    2. John Fenderson said on October 8, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      @Steve: “Google+ once was a decent Social Media”

      When was that? I gave up on Google+ because it was so slow and buggy that it was painful to use. It was as bad as Hangouts, but still…

    3. Anon said on October 8, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      I also recommend Gab, Minds ( and Bitchute (

      It’s all about alt-tech and the alternatives for the future. It’s time to escape the monopolistic companies with their censorship and move to platforms where free speech is the norm.

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