Before l start explaining what killed this social media platform some of you might not know, what really is Google +? Google+ was launched as an invite-only platform in June 2011, before opening up to the public later in the year.
It had many of the features typical of social networks, with the ability to post photos and status updates on individual feeds. However, Google also described it as a “social layer” designed to work across all its services.
Its key features included the ability to sort friends into Circles and make group video calls with “Hangouts”. Google boasted that millions of people had signed up within weeks of the launch. The problem was few people were using it.
“I click on my newsfeed and see tumbleweed blowing through the barren, blank page,” wrote Paul Tassi, for Forbes, within weeks of the platform’s launch. “It’s a vast and empty wasteland, full of people who signed up but never actually stuck around to figure out how things worked.”
Well l bet know you have a view of what Google + was all about let me dive straight back to my story What Killed Google +
In April 2014, the founder of Google+, Vic Gundotra, left the company and changes came swiftly. Successful features such as Hangouts and Photos were separated from Google+ and run as independent services.
Google started to disentangle Google+ from its apps such as YouTube and Google Play, much to the delight of video- and app-makers. In 2015, Google+ had a makeover designed to focus on “communities” but this also failed to ignite interest in the platform.
In the end, it was the discovery of two data breaches that spurred Google to close the platform. In 2018, it admitted bugs in its software meant the private information of up to 52 million members had been accessible by third-party developers.
This is what really went wrong with Google+. “Google+ was destined to fail from day one,” says Matt Navarra, a social media consultant.
“Issues with an unwieldy and changeable UI (User Interface), being the latecomer versus giants like Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, a disjointed user experience, and
Google+ operated a strict real-name policy and banned people who used screen names, often locking them out of other Google services such as Gmail. Unusually, it also went after brands and businesses that set up profiles, deleting their pages.
It later admitted this had been a mistake and decided businesses could set up Google+ profiles after all. But those that did sign up to take a look were often confused by what they saw.
Where Facebook had “likes”, Instagram had