So Long Google+, We Hardly Knew Ye

Google’s half-hearted attempt at building a competitive social network is finally coming to an end. The search giant has announced that Google+ will permanently shut down on April 2.

Google had been gradually losing interest in maintaining the service for years, but Google+ received the knock out blow in October after it was revealed that the social network had a security bug in its API that may have compromised more than half a billion accounts.

The search giant had announced its plans to shut down the social network then but did not set a definitive date until now.

This Is Not a Drill

Google+ will be permanently shut down and everything on it will be deleted. “On April 2nd, your Google+ account and any Google+ pages you created will be shut down and we will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts,” Google’s support page reads.

Google will also delete Google+ powered comments on Blogger and other third-party sites. In the meantime, users can still to download and save content from their profile. You can find instructions on how to do so here.

A Brief History of Plus

Google launched Google+ to try and compete with then increasingly popular social networks, particularly Facebook. Google had watched as its position as the web’s most visited site was being challenged by Facebook.

The meteoric rise of Facebook and social networks, in general, gave Google executives sleepless nights. They worried that maybe one-day people would look to their peers to find content instead of using the company’s search engine.

Google founder Larry Page was so worried that he supposedly tied the bonuses of Google employees to the success of the social network, and infamously to cram Google+ into other Google products whenever possible.

Google+ joins a list of soon to be discarded Google products, such as Google Inbox, which will shut down in March, and Google, which is expected to disappear in 2020.