Google+ What it is? Why it was shut down and best alternatives

Google rarely gets something wrong. As a matter of fact, Google never gets anything wrong. According to Wikipedia, Google is the most visited site in the world and receives 5.6 billion searches per day. The statistic is staggering considering there are only 7.4 billion people in the world and half of those are active internet users. What does this imply? That when we all have a problem we ask Google.



Google+ : The Legend was Born

In 2012, CEO Larry Page and other Google executives launched the infamous Google+. It was met to directly compete with the likes of Facebook and other social networks. It started well but ended prematurely. Because in April 2020, Google+ was shut down. You don't toll with people's privacy, Page should have known that. The plan of Google+ even though a good idea was ill-advised. After its first few years, it never really experience any remarkable achievement. Google has a slogan, and they have a mission statement also: "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

Google+ : The Legend was Born
Google+ : The Legend was Born

When it came to creating the ill advice Google+, one can't help but wonder why Larry Page and his team simply didn't ask Google. Like the rest of us, "normal Google dependent mortal-civilian", they might have been warned or avoided the fate that was to befall Google+ and put the company's status at risk.



What is Google+?

Google+ "was" a social networking website launched by Google. Google+ was launched on the 28th of June 2011. Google+ was seen as a challenge to other top social media platforms but not necessary. It was the company's fourth foray into the market of social networking.

Google first ventured into Social networking with the lunched of Orkut. Then next was Google Friend Connect which was launched in 2008. Google Friend Connect had many potentials but sadly met its demise in 2012. But when Google predicted something could go wrong with Google Friend Connect, they had launched Google Buzz in 2010. It didn't last long though and was shut down in 2011 to pave way for Google+.

Google+ was supposed to be the Holy Grail. The Mr. Fourth time lucky. And for a time though it didn't disappoint. It had over 10 million users just two weeks into its launch in 2011. At the end of the year, it had reached 90 million users according to sources from Google. Google would later strategize and linked Google+ across all of Google's other services. It moves its functions from social network to social layer. This further causes the activity on Google+ to increase. As of October 2013, about 540 million active users used the social layer monthly. This was done by interacting with Google's enhanced properties like YouTube comment and Gmail.

So mightily was the growth of Google+ that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg felt threatened. Mark instituted a company-wide lockdown. He had instructed employees to dedicate time to ensure Facebook's features are parallel with Google+. As narrated by a book written in 2016 by a former Facebook employee.


Why was Google Plus (+) shut down?

So the question now is, How could a social network that rose so great it worried Zuckerberg and it's Facebook empire be reduced to mere ashes? What could have led to such a demise? In poetic terms, from grace to grass. The answer is low user usage and privacy insecurity.

It all started when the company first discover a bug in one of Google+'s People APIs. This bug could enable app access to private information from Google+ profiles. The bug was patched in March 2018 but Google had kept it a secret from its users. Another attack happened again and Google was forced to bring the matter into the Limelight. Because of its privacy secure policy, Google could not trace the user that were impacted by the bug. Because of this Google was forced to initiate the shutdown of Google+ developer API on the 7th of March 2020. Google+ eventually shut down on the 2nd of April 2020.

Kudos to Google who was honest about the shutdown and admitted that Google+ failed to meet the company's expectation for growth and usage. They release the most shameful statistic when they reveal that 90% of Google+ user's season is less than 5 seconds.


Features and Functions Of Google+


User Profile

Google+ came with this User profile feature. It was an account of a user that was visible to everyone. This account was then linked to many Google properties. It included the regular social media details like the profile picture, school history, previous work, and others. It also included some identity details sections that enable users to link their service to their other social media account.


Circles

Circle was one of the highlight features of Google+. Users could gather fellow users into groups for sharing. The sharing could be done across various Google products and services. For example, you could group between colleagues and family. You can share work content with colleagues and personal contents with family. It also has the option to do a public sharing.



Stream

The stream allows users to view updates from fellow members in their circle. You can also make posts in your circles that you have joined


Identity service

Google+ profiles could be used as an account for many Google services like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Music, YouTube, Android and a lot more. This feature saves a lot of stress one has to go through to write and upload his profile when registering on the web.


Privacy Settings

This determines the amount of information you want to be disclosed to various circles of your choice.


+1 button

This is the Google+ version of Facebook's Like button.


Google+ Pages

It works similar to" Facebook Pages". Where bodies and organizations can set up profile pages.


Communities

It allows users to create an ongoing conversation on different topics.


Events

You can invite other users to share photos and media in real-time using Event features.


Discover

It generates trending posts and topics from around the web.


Best Google+ Alternatives

To be honest, there is no direct replacement for Google+. Nevertheless, we can still find something close to it. Facebook is a great alternative, after all, they were always modified to compete against each other. But if it's something else you seek, then we have just the best Google+ alternative for you. Check them out!


MeWe

MeWe
MeWe

MeWe has three groups which are:

Private group - Which requires an invite.

Selective group - Which requires approval to join.

Open group - Which is open for all users.

Each group on MeWe has a feature that enables you to chat and also supports voice and video calls. It has a similar Google+ features in Circle. You can also follow hashtags.

There are so many Google+ similarities in MeWe. It copies Google+ combination with Google Photos and Google Drive. You initially get a free 8GB cloud storage which can be upgraded to 50GB. You

MeWe has a pro service that requires $75 for an employee in a year. The MeWePRO service is available for free for a non-profit and educational organization.

MeWe also secures your privacy and ensures there's no user tracking and data mining. MeWe is ads-free and offers a user-friendly interface.


Mastodon

Mastodon
Mastodon

Mastodon is like a federation. This is because of its thousands of independent communities running to form a coherent network.

Its features include 500 thoughts sharing characters. You can use custom emojis, adjust pictures thumbnails with focal points.

Mastodon is ideal for both individuals and companies.

The formal can enjoy feed chronologically, free of ads and non-algorithmic.

For the latter, you can host your own social media platform on your infrastructure.

Mastodon is not just like any regular social network. You can host your server in Mastodon.

Based on the features, the app is like Twitter. Those Google+ users who enjoy chatting over posting would love its microblogging approach.

A popular potential replacement for Google+, therefore, is Mastodon. Unlike regular social networks, Mastodon is decentralized. Anyone can host their server node in the network.


Diaspora

Diaspora
Diaspora

Diaspora shares some features with Google+.

Most notable are the aspects tool. It is similar to Circles in Google+. You can use it to organize users into groups of your choice. It lets you share content between any category of your choice. Furthermore, Diaspora does not enforce you to use your real name like Facebook. Diaspora has 650,000 users and that figure jumped when Google+ collapse. It can be regarded as an alternative to Google+



Minds

Minds
Minds

Among the Google+ alternatives on our list, Minds has the most similar user interface. If you were a Google+ user then you'd immediately feel comfortable using Minds. The site displays posts in three categories.

You can earn cryptocurrency and get free promotion for your contributions.

Mind users blockchain but it's still a privately owned organization. It offers no guarantee of your data privacy.


BuddyPress

BuddyPress
BuddyPress

It functions as a plug-in for WordPress. It isn't your regular social network site. BuddyPress offers ways for communities to develop their social and personal networks. If you're familiar with WordPress, that means this is the best Google+ alternatives you can use.

BuddyPress best features include different content piracy settings, customizable profiles, and many more.


Movim

Movim
Movim

Movim is not as popular as other social networks on our list. But it made the cut because it has the potential to be one of the best Google+ alternatives. It has open-source software. That means you can create your server and host content. It is secure and brings communication to one place.

It has amazing features. There is the option to create a blog and making use of hashtags, There is also a chatroom with stickers and read receipt.


Conclusion of Best Google+ Alternatives on 2020

Okay, folks, that's all we have for this article. We hope it was helpful. Life is all about moving on after a setback. Google would move on too. And we trust you to move on and are willing to help you. That's why we took out time to compile a list for you.

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