Google is officially closing its social networking platform, Google Plus, on April 2nd. The entire platform will be shut down, including the pages and accounts.
This comes after Google announced that the social media platform was linked to a potential data security risk. Google found a bug in March 2018 with one of the platforms APIs, which potentially put 500,000 account holder’s personal data, including name, email address, occupation, gender and age, at risk. This came at a similar time as Facebook’s scrutiny with the Cambridge Analytica personal data breach, however, Google did not disclose the breach at the time.
While the social network was originally due to close in August 2019, Google has now moved this forward to April amidst the personal data and security concerns. Users are already no longer able to create new accounts or events within the platform as the closure of the social network begins.
In all honesty – probably nothing. Google Plus had a very low uptake, with even Google admitting that 90% of user sessions only lasted 5 seconds. So the likelihood of you, or your practice, having an active account that needs backing up is low.
However, if you do have an account Google should have notified you via email of its imminent closure. If you have data you’d like to back up, you can the instructions on how to do so here.
It is worth checking if your website links to your Google Plus profile and, if so, replacing it with a more valuable link to your Google Business Listing.