Google+ is being shutdown (and it sucks)

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This is a great question that was asked by one of our members from our community, Digital Stars.

This might be a silly question but I have a notification that my Google+ account is due to be closed in April. To be honest I didn’t realise I had one. Can I just check this wont affect my access to Google Drive, Photos, Forms etc generally as I use these function quite a bit?A Member Of Digital Stars

So in case you haven’t heard, Google has taken the [regretful] decision to close Google+ to consumers. This, for the record, is something I heard with great sadness. It has long since been my opinion, that Google+ was, hands-down, the best social media platform.

When you look at what it technically achieved, how it did it and the facilities it had – it was just a thing of beauty. Of course, the usage just wasn’t there and this led to Google announcing that they would be knocking it on the head in April 2019.

In December 2018, we announced our decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and the challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.


Should I be worried about my other Google products?

Anyway, so the question is will the closure affect the other Google services (Google Drive, Photos, Forms or other G Suite services).

So, G+ would (in this case) be considered a standalone product – so its closing won’t affect those other services.

Google has quite the reputation of being pretty cutting about what to do with products that they’ve worked on – that aren’t really performing – and ending them. But look, this makes sense from a focal perspective – if something isn’t working (and it can’t be fixed), axe it and go work on something else. We do this all the time at Hypestar – if something isn’t well-received, we cut it.

Why was there a Google+ anyway?

Honestly, because what’s already here isn’t perfect. I do have lots that I love about the ‘stuff’ that we already have in the social field (hell, there were even older platforms that are now gone, that I loved) – but not one of them has it nailed.

Google+ was Google’s [latest] stab at the social scene. One of the things that I think Google does really well is to take a look at ‘a problem’ and say “you know what, we can do something better here”. And again, my position is, that is what they did with G+. It was better. It’s that its usage wasn’t there – which isn’t necessarily an issue with the platform, but a representation that not everyone saw that benefit.

But it’s this type of effort to drive things to be better that keeps the whole industry driving forward, so we could argue that the fact that other platforms getting better is, in some way, thanks to the other tools in the same space.

It also brought us some amazing features that aren’t going anywhere. Some of the products that started life baked-in to larger products like Google+ have spun off into independent tools. Google Photos and YouTube Live for example are things that have much of their success rooted in G+ (and I love ’em both!), so this isn’t really a bad thing, overall. But I for one, will miss it and hope that we’re going to see something else awesome come out of the Google camp.