If the multi-billion-dollar company “Google” rings a bell, then you may have heard of its homegrown social platform, Google+. The unique social media network, started in 2011, intended to give users the ability to write long posts and focus on business-related topics. It was meant to compete with the very successful Facebook and Twitter social media networks. The difference being, rather than catching up with old friends and seeing the latest posts from your favorite celebrity, you could share your valuable ideas with the public and have sustainable conversations.
While the platform had an admirable purpose and loyal users, it never caught on with broader audiences. After 7 years, Google has finally made the critical business decision to sunset its social media platform effective April 2, 2019.
Why There Will Be No More Google+
Google+’s discontinuation may have less of an impact on businesses and organizations than you think. Out of its 2 billion registered users, only 20% of them are considered active (source: Dustin.tv) and 90% of their users’ sessions last under 5 seconds (Source: WordStream). Engagement clearly wasn’t one of this social media network’s strong suits, and in fact, it was even determined that many users only created their account to use other apps, like using their account to comment on YouTube videos.
Even though the user-volume is low for Google +, Google ran into issues in late 2018 with keeping all of their information secure. Google+ experienced a security glitch that allowed third-party apps to access private information of up to 500,000 Google+ accounts. Although the bug was fixed immediately, Google did not take this brief security breach lightly, and that, in combination with its lackluster success, led to the decision to discontinue the social media platform altogether.
What the Google+ Platform Sunset Means for You
Whether you used this social media network or not, this news will undoubtedly affect you and your business in some way. If you’re currently rushing around trying to copy over all the information you need from your Google+ contacts, don’t. There is a 10-month plan in place for this service to be up and running before it is deleted.
Google+ and Google My Business
Note that this change does not impact Google My Business listings, therefore your local SEO will not be negatively affected. When a user searches for your company or relevant keywords on Google, your My Business profile will still be accessible.
In fact, Google My Business is actually enhancing its platform. Users will be able to create posts for their listing – allowing for local communication between businesses and consumers. It also provides opportunities to support SEO by placing keywords in posts.
Removing Google+ From Your Website
If you currently have your Google+ account linked from your website (e.g., social sharing feature or footer links), it’s time to remove it or engage your web development firm to help. You might also want to inventory any other places where you might have promoted your Google+ account listed or linked to.
If you’re looking for an additional social network that is comparable to what Google+ offered, ask yourself what you liked or didn’t like from Google+. If you liked that Google+ was smaller, then it may better to transition in networks of similar sizes like Mastodon and MeWe. Mastodon allows you to post links, pictures, text, and videos all within in one platform to colleagues in your network. MeWe encourages their users to share true, uncensored ideas with the enjoyment of no ads on their site. If neither of these competing networks appeal to you, perhaps you might like a larger network of professionals. LinkedIn is a great way for you to connect with the public as well as grow your own personal brand.
Social Media Network Evolution
Whether the news of Google+ leaving has a direct impact on you or not, it’s important to understand why it wasn’t as successful as once believed and what can take its place now that it’s officially going away. Social media platforms will continue to come and go as the internet evolves, and your business will need to as well. If you want to talk with ZAG Interactive about your social media marketing needs, contact us.