Google has just revealed the details about when it will finally kill its Facebook competitor, Google+. The company had previously announced that it is planning to shut down the product but there were no details about the final date. Months after the announcement the company finally updated the support pages for the service adding the last day when Google+ users can “+” posts on the service. According to the details, the consumer version of the service will shut down on April 2, 2019. The company had initially revealed that it is planning to shut down the service back in October 2018 after it discovered (and patched) a privacy bug in the platform back in March 2018.
However, a second privacy bug that was discovered in December forced Google to speed up the process of shutting the service down. As previously reported the issue affected about “52.5 million users” on the platform where third-party app developers could access all the Google+ profile data of any user and all the profile data that was shared “by another Google+ users”, “with the consenting user” but it was not set to be shared with anyone else.
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In addition to all these privacy issues, the reason that the company has provided for the shut down is the “low usage” and “challenges involved with maintaining a successful product that meets… expectations.” According to a report by 9to5Google, after the shutdown, the company will start deleting all the content from Google+ accounts on the internet. This data includes and photos or videos that users added “from Google+” in their Album archive.
The company has added instructions on where to go and download the data to save it from the purge after the shutdown. Though, the company added that users must download the data before April 2. The information on the support page went on to add that the deletion process “will take a few months” and the data is likely to remain on the servers “through this time”.
In addition to the shut down of the consumer version, the company also added that it is planning to shut down some of the features of the platform on February 4, 2019. These include the creation of any new profiles, pages, communities, or events. The company will also remove Google+ comments from Blogger. The company will remove comments from other websites starting March 7.
Google will provide “additional tools” to owners and moderators of Google+ Community pages so that they can preserve the data including posts and associated media. Last but not least, G Suite Google+ accounts will not follow this timeline. There is no information about when the company plans to shut down the business side of the platform.