In early February, Google sent out a not-so-clear email to users of Google+ with this subject line: Your personal Google+ account is going away on April 2, 2019. As it turns out, that subject line wasn’t quite clear enough for a vast majority of users and there’s some confusion around the entire shut down that we’d like to explain for anyone who wanders by Chrome Unboxed and is curious about what is going on.
The Big Issue
The problem here is there are countless users who have Google+ accounts and don’t even realize it. Remember that ill-fated period of time that Google thought it was a good idea to force all Google users (YouTube included) to have a Google+ account? Yeah, that was real dumb and did nothing outside of pissing people off left and right.
Google backed off that effort after a while, but it didn’t really delete unused Google+ accounts. Instead, all those people that begrudgingly opted in stayed in and Google+ has been simply chock-full of unused “active” accounts ever since.
Now, fast forward a few years and Google is sending out an email to tell all these users that a service they don’t ever use or consider is being shut down. When these users see the words Google and Account in an email subject line that is talking about account removals, people freak out a bit.
Sure, Google did have to send out a wide-reaching email message since Google+ failed as a social network in the long run. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, as a service that shares almost the EXACT same name the parent service, Google should have been a bit more deliberate with the email subject.
Again, as most users probably forgot they even had a Google+ account, I imagine a quick glance at an inbox subject like this one would make most people do a double-take.
Everything is Fine
We’re here to simply reassure everyone who got this email that Google is not going anywhere and your Google accounts, YouTube accounts, and/or Gmail accounts are not going anywhere with this shut down. Everything Google you actually use is staying around (RIP Allo and Spaces) and there’s no reason for alarm.
Google+ is going away, however. The time has come, and other than the great groups and communities there, I personally won’t miss much as Google+ goes the way of so many Google services. We’re hopeful that MeWe (the social network we’re trying as a Google+ replacement) doesn’t follow the same route. You can read more about our move there and what we’re hoping to accomplish in Gabriel’s article. We hope you come and join us there as the discussion and community has been really great so far.
But for now, we’ll mourn the loss of Google+, what it was, and what it could have been.