Update: As of March 7th, 2019, Google+ buttons, embedded posts and badges will stop working. If your website still incorporates them after that deadline the functionality and layout of your site could be affected. Check out this episode of T-Time with Tillison for our guide to removing all Google+ web integrations.
Google has announced that it will be shutting down Google+ for consumers, following a security breach earlier this year which left a large amount of data exposed.
The incident, which affected up to 500,000 users of the platform, occurred in March but, according to the Wall Street Journal, Google chose not to disclose the issue amid fears that doing so would ‘draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage’.Google has that it will be shutting down Google+ for consumers, following a security breach earlier this year which left a large amount of data exposed.Click To Tweet
The decision to close Google+ for consumers is hardly surprising – the platform’s struggle to compete alongside the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn has been prolific since its launch in 2011, and Google itself has acknowledged that currently 90% of Google+ consumer sessions are less than five seconds.
However, Google has also announced that the platform will remain open for businesses who currently use the software, with the additional vow to improve privacy protections for third-party applications.
So where does this leave businesses who don’t use Google+ at the moment, or those who do but don’t find many benefits in using it? We would strongly recommend registering for your Google My Business listing – it is free of charge and is essentially an amalgam of its former incarnation, Google Local, and Google+.
Although there’s no guarantee, having a Google My Business listing improves the chance of your business appearing when people make relevant queries on Google Search and Maps. Not only is it a great way to improve your local SEO profile, it could be a lucrative optimisation method in the advent of voice search.
Tillison Consulting’s Managing Director, Mark Tillison has been a long-time user and advocate of Google+ and applauds Google’s attempts to ‘create a social experience that mirrored how users behaved in real life’.
I think Google’s intentions were noble and technologically sound. Not everyone is interested in sharing everything with everyone, whether that’s public or everyone in their friends list.
Google+ for me took the best parts of the other platforms with communities like groups in Facebook and LinkedIn, such as limited sharing options with circles of users that the sharer created rather than the recipient.
Most of all, I loved the idea of a social layer over search, helping Google surface results in Search influenced by my social connections. If I’m heading to New York and need a hotel, one that my friends stayed at and gave a great review of is way more powerful than 100 reviews from people I don’t know. I met some awesome people in my time on Google+ and connected with some huge names in our industry that I wouldn’t otherwise.
It’s a real shame that Google didn’t manage to make it work – maybe its ideas were beyond most users and perhaps it was a little late to the social party.
What are your thoughts on Google+ shutting down? Do you think it’s a huge loss to the social media industry? Let us know in the comments below, or click below to speak to one of our Specialists or find out more about our Social Media for Business services.