Big Changes Come for Business Users as Google Plus Shutdown Looms

Google Plus Shutting Down

If you use it for your small business, you probably know the end of Google Plus is near. The consumer side of Google Plus will shut down in April 2019, but the company started implementing changes starting on February 4, 2019.

The shutdown comes months before the August 2019 date Google announced in October of 2018. The date was expedited because a Google+ API bug affected the accounts of 52.5 million Google Plus users.

On Google’s official Keyword blog, David Thacker, Vice President of Product Management for G Suite, explained the decision. Thacker said, “With the discovery of this new bug, we have decided to expedite the shut-down of all Google+ APIs; this will occur within the next 90 days. In addition, we have also decided to accelerate the sunsetting of consumer Google+ from August 2019 to April 2019.”

Although Google+ didn’t catch on like other social media channels, many small businesses used the platform as part of G Suite and the tools it provides. This is one of the reasons only the consumer side of Google Plus is shutting down. However, G Suite users will also see changes.

The Schedule for Google Plus Shutting Down

As of February 4, 2019, users were no longer able to create new Google Plus pages or add non-Google Plus users to their Circles.

If you have a Blogger page the commenting service is also disabled and it will take effect on other sites by March 7th.

Starting on April 2, content from consumer Google Plus accounts will be deleted and the accounts and pages you have created will shut down. This includes photos and videos in your Album Archive and your Google Plus pages.

If you want to save the images and videos, you have to do it before April. It is important to note, this doesn’t affect any of the content you have backed in Google Photos.

The change will also affect consumer users from your circles and communities, which will be removed. Communities outside your domain without at least one G Suite owner will be deleted. And your users won’t be able to create public communities outside your domain.

Additional deletions will include Google Plus events and the Google Plus profile field for “tagline,” which will affect both G Suite and consumer users.

Another change coming to G Suite will be that all G Suite customers’ content will be flagged for deletion upon cancellation of the service. In the past, certain users, such as .edu customers, could continue using the service after cancellation. But this will no longer be the case moving forward.

Small Business Users

If you have been using Google Plus to communicate with your customers, here is a step you can take to continue interacting with them.

Google will be releasing a new version of the Google Plus Android app on February 22, 2019. This will allow your G Suite Android users to continue using Google Plus on their mobile devices. But you need to tell them to update the Google Plus Android app before March 7, 2019, because older versions of the app will no longer be supported.

Stay up to date with the latest news and developments by going to the Google Help Center to see all the changes taking place until the April shutdown.  The FAQ page also offers additional details and updates.

Image: Google

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

10 Reactions
  1. Who still uses Google+? Honest question.

    • Nerdy folks. I’m a programmer and talk with other technically minded folks there mostly. It was kinda a plus to us (no pun) that it wasn’t a huge user base. Also made for way less trolls, decent discussions, etc.

  2. Hi Michael
    It is indeed a great joy to be here again to read more about G+ developments. Though it is a sad thing to note its demise from the Internet it may not be a big surprise to many who are utilizing Google platforms.
    Earlier on several times, Google killed many of its platforms to the surprise of its users.
    My first encounter with such an incident was with Google’s Knol platform, though it started with much pomp after its inception within a short span of 2 years they killed it. Last in line is G+
    Thanks for sharing the latest in this incident, and the migration of our date etc to a safer place.
    I am still worried about our comments we received and made via G+ comment box.
    I am so glad to say that this post has been mentioned in one of my posts I published recently.
    Glad to share it here.
    ~ Philip

  3. Hi Philip,
    You are welcome.

    We want to thank you for sharing the previous post.

  4. Yes. I am seeing this warning that it will shut down in April of this year. That’s just sad.

  5. Do you know what service Google is offering in place of G+? I don’t think a lot of people actually use G+ anymore, but it seems they’d have something to replace it.

  6. Google+ has always been a fail Google Product since its inception. The user interaction is very low and there is nothing strange that it will shut down eventually. Thanks for sharing the update.

  7. I have used Google+ for years with my best customers to give them special deals to them as thanks for their business. Now I’m in the process of moving my community over to Select for the same purpose.

  8. I’ve been using google for interacting different people around the world. We use this for sharing memes, jokes, life quotes, fight for depression and etc. But now it is sad to know that this social media is shutting down.