It’s been closely eight years since Google+ was introduced, but it has never really emerged as the social network contender to beat the likes of Facebook and Twitter that Google had hoped it would be. Now, with no hope of doing any wonders, less than eight years after launching, Google+ has officially shut down its services.
Google has stated that, starting today, content in Google+ consumer accounts will start being deleted. The company disabled the creation of new accounts in February and will start deleting content today.
“On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts,” the company said in a notice in late January.
According to Google, it will take a couple of months to delete all the Google+ content, meaning users may still be able to access it during this time. Google+ sign-in will stop working for other services, but you’ll be able to sign into them using your Google Account.
The decision to close Google+ came after the discovery that a bug in Google+ exposed the personal data of nearly half a million users, with Google not disclosing it to the public until much later. Shortly after that, it was discovered that another security bug exposed personal data of more than 50 million users.
But Google+ had failed much earlier. Launched in 2011, the social network failed to gain significant traction (by Google’s standards, at least) and become any sort of threat to competitors such as Facebook. Google’s massive reach helped build a sizeable user base for Google+, but the users just weren’t using the social network much, and merging Google+ with other Google services such as YouTube was met with user backlash. Some of its features, such as Photos and Hangouts, were carved out and turned into separate services, but the social network itself was all but dead by 2015.
The majority of content on Google+ will likely be preserved for posterity, thanks to the efforts of Archive Team. But the network itself is now finally, officially, dead.