Google+ is no longer available for consumer (personal) and brand accounts


April, 2019

Google | Google+ | Sunset

Google's struggling social media platform is shutting down today for consumers.

Ever since Google+ was launched way back on the 28th of June in 2011 it has had issues gaining traction and regular users. It has had rough competition and companies such as Facebook have had strategies to limit the growth of Google+. Google has tried many things to get users on board such as requiring all YouTube accounts to have a Google+ page in order to comment on videos. This change was very controversial and met with a lot of strong opinions. This is very understandable since users was forced into it. Not a very good start for Google+. Of course it gained a fair few users, but those users didn't like the service so they weren't planning on using it or sticking around. Google thankfully removed this bridge after a while, but the damage was already done.

Typical comment section on YouTube after users was forced to use Google+ in order to comment.Screenshot: YouTube

Google+ was rather tightly integrated into other Google services and was your home for changing information such as name and profile picture. It also served as a photo library for uploaded content to Google Street View and Google Maps. It also hosted the +1 button on many websites.

Let's take a look at the launch video from 2011 for the sake of nostalgia:

According to a book by a former employee over at Facebook, some leaders saw Google+ as a serious threat to the social media giant. Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg then introduced a company-wide plan in order to bring Facebook's features in line with Google+.

Facebook definitely succeeded in limiting the growth of Google+. According to Wikipedia, Google+ had 10 million users two weeks after launch. After a month it had 25 million and in October 2011 it had 40 million users. At the end of 2011 the social media site had 90 million users and by October in 2013 it accumulated approximately 540 million monthly active users.

Here are some screenshots I found in Google Photos of my Google+ adventure:

A bug where the image quality of your post would be terrible. You had to repost in order to fix it.Screenshot: Google+
Thanks iOS 11, very cool.Screenshot: Google+
This is what polls looked like.Screenshots: Google+

I have personally been a part of Google+ for as long as I can remember, but I never really posted much. I only really used it to automatically share the YouTube videos that I posted. I found the site to be bloated with explicit images and a truckload of spam and garbage. However, I revisited the platform a little over a year ago and started posting photos from my Google Pixel in a Pixel community. I found myself having a good time and I enjoyed the site more than ever. Google+ was all about finding a group which was properly managed and I luckily came across one. While I used the service I met some awesome people and I got to see a lot of cool stuff, but you could defiently tell that the service was dying a slow and painful death.

The thing I liked the most with Google+ was the uncompressed image quality. Photos would get uploaded to the site and still remain in very good shape. This allowed for pixel peeping and a more close inspection of images. I also remember when they introduced likes (+1) for profiles. I stayed up all night trying to get as many likes as possible on my profile and I remember getting far over a thousand. After a little while they removed that and I was pretty bummed. However, I don't see losing Google+ as a big loss, but I think it is sad to see that the Facebook competitor didn't really take off. Better luck next time?

Google+ is still a part of G Suite and recently got an the Material Design overhaul so the legacy lives on there, but consumers have to look elsewhere. If you log in with a consumer account this is the splash screen you're met with.

Google+ says goodbye.Screenshot: Google+

What was your thoughts on Google+? Did you use the site regularly? Let me know down below!

Please also leave feedback on my writing as my end goal is to improve as much as possible. Thank you so much for reading!