The last surviving version of Google+ meant for Enterprise users only – Google Currents – is finally being shuttered. While the “wind down” was announced last year, it’s now time for it to ride off into the sunset once and for all.
In its place, Google Chat Spaces is taking the lead. The communication app is now getting a Material You redesign and continues to get more social, with many of the same features from Currents being integrated into it over the past year. The company’s “social spine” continues in spirit throughout many of its Workspace apps, with a hyper-focus on Spaces. Beginning July 5, 2023, no one – absolutely no one will be able to access Currents. Workspace Admins can export their data using Takeout all the way up to August 8, 2023, after which point it will all be deleted forever.
Communities in your domain won’t be migrated to Spaces; you can continue using Currents until the product shutdown begins on July 5, 2023. See more details here.Google Currents
Chat Spaces is where Google has placed all of its focus, building in even more community-centric features to help organizations and businesses connect, collaborate and share a “sense of belonging” with one another. Unlike Google+, and more so like Currents, Spaces is meant to be more of a social intranet, not a public forum. This shift marks a significant leaning away from a traditional social “feed” and more toward tight-knit communications-based “spaces” to hang out.
Google has also shared a timeline of feature parity, showing that Chat Spaces already has many of the same features that Currents did. The only difference is that Spaces is a less siloed destination for community. In essence, Spaces is transitioning to be more like Discord or Slack and less like Facebook or Twitter.
This shift is a reflection of the changing needs of businesses and organizations (and very much of the times and technology). Chat Spaces offers a centralized platform for teams to communicate, share files, and work together, all within a secure environment.
While it may not have the same broad appeal as something like the aforementioned Slack or Discord, Google Chat, and Spaces by extension have the potential to be an invaluable tool for businesses, organizations, and even families! I’m personally using it in all areas of my life and finding ways to integrate it as a collaborative journal, and a more organized Google Tasks (it really just needs a better dark mode). Let me know in the comments if you’re using Spaces at all, and if you were previously using Google Currents with your team.