Minus Google Plus

At some point this morning Google Plus, Google’s ill fated attempt to take on Facebook, went away.

Not that we had not been warned.  The word went out last October that due to security issues and the cost of keeping the service up to date on that front, along with low usage, Google Plus would be shut down in August of 2019.  And then more security issues came up and they said screw it, it is coming down in April.

They knew enough to avoid April 1

The third part APIs went first, being removed early last month, at which posts from the blog stopped going there.  This wasn’t the first time they had stopped.  Google had broken that connection previously, and for a long stretch auto-posts were flagged as private.  I suspect that I lost any regular followers on the service when that happened a couple years back.  But in March they went down for good.

WP.com letting people know

Last night I took a look and saw that it was still listed on the Google front page.

The top six on April 1

This morning though it was gone, all of the other services having moved up a spot.

Top six on April 2

And so it goes.

As I note previously I did, up until the very end, check Google Plus almost daily, though for the last year at least it had been mostly the Richard Bartle feed.  Posts from his personal blog appeared there daily, even after the APIs were shut down.  He must have been putting the links up there manually.  And if I miss his posts I know where to find them in any case.

I am sure some will miss the service more, mostly because Google really pushed integration with Google Plus on every front.  If, for example, you took their advice and used Google Plus for comments on your blog… well, now all those comments are gone.  It is all gone.

Me… I’m not so hard hit.  This wasn’t like the blow of them shutting down Google Reader, something I am still pissed about more than five years later.  Just reading RSS feeds aside, it allowed you to build an outgoing feed that was the key to my live side bar feed.  I have been struggling ever since to find something that worked as reliably.  My current Rube Goldberg configuration mostly works, but is still down about half the time I check due to all the parts needing to be in exact sync the moment a request comes in.

The fate of Google Reader, another service they claimed had low usage… though its cancellation led to competing services being overwhelmed, proving one persons pittance can be anothers fortune I guess… made me reluctant to jump on Google Plus wholeheartedly.

And I am not alone.  Ars Technica has an article up about how the now long history of Google shutting down apps and services is hurting their brand.  How can you trust Google, how can you bring yourself to invest in their offerings, if they are more than likely to just yank the run out from under you.

I suppose the one success is GMail, which turned 15 years old yesterday.

Did they really launch on April 1?

But GMail has ads in it… Google used to parse your email in order to generate those ads, something is said it would stop doing, but how can an end user tell… so has a revenue stream of some sort.  So it is maybe safe from closure.  But does anything beyond that and search have revenue?

Anyway, another Google offering bites the dust.

5 thoughts on “Minus Google Plus

  1. Kaylriene

    I used G+ only briefly, but it was doomed from the start I think. There wasn’t enough public outrage against Facebook and other platforms at its launch to allow it to capture refugees from other services and so it was always just a quieter version of Facebook, at least to me and those I’m friends with.

    There’s a lot to say about the history of Google shutting things down though, and how it affects perception of their other offerings (Stadia viewed through this lens is worrisome!). It feels like Google is far too willing to throw out cool stuff just because it doesn’t find a market, which both makes sense but also makes trusting other projects they get behind difficult.


  2. bhagpuss

    I was so interested in G+ that I actually asked Tipa if he’d invite me to the Beta, which she was in, and she was kind enough to do so. Unfortunately, when i saw it I didn’t really take to it and never used it much. I doubt I looked at it at all after the first six months or so.

    The issue of whether we can trust Google (in a practical not a moral sense) is a thorny one indeed. I have my Blogger blog backed up to some degree but I can’t imagine it could ever be re-created “as is” on another platform. Even if it could I dread to think how much work that would take. Worse than that, though, can you imagine the impact if Google decided to close GMail?

    I m curious about the supposed ads in GMail though. Where are they? I’ve never seen one.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – Ads in GMail for me come in the form of a couple of items in my promotions tab once in a while that clearly haven’t been sent as email. That tab is where news from Daybreak and CCP tends to land, so I check it regularly.

    More insidious was Google parsing your email for keywords to add to their database about what you’re interested in, which is used to place ads wherever Google ad placement is used. I have to have Ad Block off for work at times to check some of our apps and Google knows what you’ve seen recently and throws targeted ads pretty accurately. (Unless, of course, my wife or daughter have been using my iPad to browse Sephora or DSW, then the ads are a bit off.)


  4. SK

    Now that you mentioned it: G+ was for me just a kind of Bartle+, since his was the most regular stream. And thanks for the reminder about QBlog, I just added it to my Inoreader-Subscriptions. (Wenn Google Reader shut down, I followed the flock to Feedly, which I recently left in favour of Inoreader.)


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