Wow, if you’re a reader of tech news then you already know, Google+ is being put to rest. You might be saying, "of course, this is old news. The network will be laid to rest in August 2019." Well, I hate to break it to you but recently Google announced they would be speeding up the process with April 2019 being the new end. What does this all mean? Why is this important? Those are two very good questions. Let’s explore.
So, Google+ will be leaving us, and the first question many of my non-marketing friends have is, “what is Google+?” This question doesn’t surprise me. Honestly, when I took my first marketing job over three years ago I was handed a bunch of social media accounts to take over, and every client had a Google+ account, so I had to look it up. At first, I felt guilty about never having heard of it, but then I realized that my most tech-savvy friends were in the same boat.
Google+, for the many of you who have never heard of it, was designed to be Google’s answer to the social media game. It makes sense that one of the largest tech companies in the world would want a hand in social media. By many accounts, Google+ was well-designed and easy to use. However, it failed to separate itself from Facebook in all the ways that mattered to users. For me, the look and feel of it never really mattered. I have faithfully maintained Google+ accounts for clients knowing that there is a good chance that my posts were only helping with search engine visibility.
Before we go any further, it is essential that you should know that the announcement of the demise of Google+ comes shortly after Google reported that a security flaw resulted in the possible exposure of personal data from nearly 500,000 users. This was followed up only a few weeks later with another announcement about another security flaw. This time the estimated amount of users impacted is over 52 million. So, you might want to replace that box of tissues with some boxing gloves. Obviously, I am kidding, but this is a serious matter - so much so that it is understandable that some users are happy to see the social media network go.
Well, if I just had a bunch of personal data out there, I probably would not be shedding a tear. However, there are some legitimate reasons to be sad. For starters, the loss of Google+ signals the loss of what was one of the most thought-out, and well-funded attempts to take on Facebook. For users of social media that were looking for a change this was supposed to be it, and now it is going away. You can add it to the list of others that have failed including Myspace and Friendster. So, in the end, yes a social media network that no one really cared about is going away, but the loss may be more significant than everyone initially thought. After all, if Google cannot create a viable Facebook alternative will anyone be able to?
Originally Published: 10/17/2018
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