In 2011, as social media started gaining popularity throughout all age brackets, Google decided to hop on the train and start its own social media platform Google +. On October 8, 2018, Google announced it will be closing the consumer version of Google+ over the next ten months, with a completion set for August 2019.
Why Google Is Closing Google+
Google’s reasoning for closing its social network is due to a lack of use and security issues. In the blog post where Google announced Google+’s closing, Google reported Google +’s usage and engagement is so low “90 percent of Google + user sessions are less than five seconds.”
Did Google+ Ever Impact Ranking?
For a while, Google+ did impact search results. Since Google+ was set up to rival Facebook, Google really tried to generate conversations on Google+. Back in the day, it would highlight Google+ content in search results and in Google News. There was also a time when Google+ was essentially Google My Business.
Google+ launched Circles, Hangout, Huddle, and Sparks to make it a more social platform.
Through Circles you can personalize your friend groups. Rather than sharing all of your updates with everyone your friends with, you can select which circles see what.
Hangout is Google+’s video chat and instant messaging. You can communicate up to ten users at once through Hangout.
Huddle was a group chat for phones, and Sparks was a place where you could find content on your interests.
When Google+ was unable to replicate Facebook, it switched its strategy and used Google+ as a medium to bind not only Google services between themselves (Google+ is integrated with Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Calendar), but Google with external services. You may have noticed a website offering you registration via Google+ before.
What are people saying?
Many marketers have been saying the demise of Google+ has been a long, drawn out death. Over the years, many marketers stopped creating a strategy for Google+ and a lot of websites took it away an option to share. Google’s top executives stopped using it about three years ago.
According to an article published yesterday by Business Insider, Google is beta-testing Google+ features for businesses. One of the features is tags. Tags will make it easier for employees to engage in conversations across their company and they will also help employees follow specific content. Google is planning on providing analytics with tags so employees can see what employees are viewing their content. Google is planning on unfolding more features in 2019.
What do you think about Google closing the consumer version of Google+? Did you ever use the social network and have a strategy for it? What are your thoughts on Google unrolling features for the business version of Google+? Let us know in the comments.