It was announced by Google on the 8th October 2018 that, amongst other things, they plan to sunset the Google+ in August of 2019. This was due to two main reasons: low adoption of Google+ and also the resources required to maintain the network.
This is a snippet from Google regarding the challenges they have faced: ‘This review crystallized what we’ve known for a while: that while our engineering teams have put a lot of effort and dedication into building Google+ over the years, it has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption, and has seen limited user interaction with apps. The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds.’
In addition there was a bug found within Google+ in March 2018. According to Google, they ‘…found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.’
What does this mean for marketers?
Given the low adoption, if you have not been investing your social media marketing dollars into building your Google+ network then there isn’t much you need to do. If you have social media links to Google+ from your site, then these will eventually need to be removed.
If you have a substantial following on Google+ it is recommended to commence social network migration and considering transferring your efforts and your followers to another network, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, to preserve the organic value that you have built up.
As for Google’s ambitions to build a social network of it’s own, Google+ will soon join a list of other products (think Google Wave, Google Buzz) in the Google Graveyard.
But this is not necessarily seen as a net negative and is certainly not a surprise, as the search giant has a philosophy of testing and closing down failed experiments constantly.
Stay tuned for more updates on this over the coming months.