Today is the day to take action if you’re holding out. The Google+ shutdown is imminent.
If you have a personal (consumer) Google+ account or a Google+ page you manage and you want to keep the content, you need to get started downloading the content today (March 31st).
The absolute hard deadline is April 2, 2019 as that’s the day they’re shutting down consumer Google+ and will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. It’s worth mentioning photos stored in Google Photos will be unaffected.
No other Google products will be shut down as part of the consumer Google+ shutdown, and the Google Account you use to sign in to these services will remain, unless of course you delete your entire Google Account.
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Google+ Shutdown Background
In December 2018, Google announced their decision to shut down Google+ for consumers in April 2019 due to low usage and not one, but two security related issues.
On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created along with the content therein will be removed. Photos and videos from Google+ in your Album Archive and your Google+ pages will also be deleted. You can download and save your content by going to the Google Takeout page.
The process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, Google+ Pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, and content may remain through this time but it’s not wise to chance it if there’s stuff you want to save.
For all information regarding this Google+ shutdown, see their FAQ page for more details and updates leading up to the shutdown.
Impact of Google+ Services in Use
If you use Google+ services to power your website, this section will point you in the right direction. This section is directly pasted from their warning email:
If you’re a Google+ Community owner or moderator, you may download and save your data for your Google+ Community. Starting early March 2019, additional data will be available for download, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community.
If you sign in to sites and apps using the Google+ Sign-in button, these buttons will stop working in the coming weeks but in some cases may be replaced by a Google Sign-in button. You’ll still be able to sign in with your Google Account wherever you see Google Sign-in buttons.
If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019.
If you’re a developer using Google+ APIs or Google+ Sign-in, see their Google+ API Shutdown page to see how this will impact you.
We hate to see Google+ go. We enjoyed the content interaction quite a bit. We managed 4 different Google+ communities and we enjoyed working with this particular social media platform.
However, we knew this day would come ever since they forced YouTube comments to run on Google+. Any time you have to force adoption, you’re asking for trouble. They of course had to reverse this decision two years later but the damage was done. The whole platform really just took a slow death until the security breaches.
We’re not being overly dramatic here. Google admits that 90 percent of Google+ user sessions lasted less than five seconds. That’s waaaaaaaaay too low for competing with the likes of Facebook.
However, what we dislike more than this platform going away in a whimper, is the amount of time we spent researching and optimizing our Google+ Accounts and Pages.
It was fun while it lasted. We went through and removed most of our old Google+ blog posts and will only keep the ones for historical context (like this one).
Update 5/19: Yep, it’s all over. Going to old profiles sometimes shows a 403 error or a 404 error. Either way, the closure has completed.