Google will begin wiping Google+ from the face of the Earth on April 2

In late 2019, Google announced that it’d shut down Google+, its beleaguered social network, for consumers due to “low usage” (90 percent of Google+ user sessions last less than five seconds) and “challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations” — not to mention the discovery of two exploits that could have allowed malicious developers to scrape millions of users’ personal data. Today in a blog post and support page, it laid out exactly how the shutdown will proceed.

As of February, you won’t be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events. And starting April 2, all Google+ accounts and pages will be deleted, along with photos, videos, and all other content contributed or uploaded by Google+ users. It won’t happen right away — Google expects the process to take “months” — but it’s instructing folks to back up any media they’d like to save by following the step-by-step instructions on Google+’s self-service portal. Additional Google+ Community data, including author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community, will be made available for archival purposes on March, Google says.

As for other Google+ features, like Google+ Sign-in and Google+ comment sections on third-party websites and Blogger, Google says those will stop working in the coming weeks. Google+ Sign-in buttons might be replaced by Google Sign-in buttons, the company says, while Google+ comments will be removed from Blogger and other sites by February 7 and March 7, respectively. (All Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2.)

Google’s also shutting down all Google+ APIs, which in addition to the above-mentioned Google+ Sign-in include requests for Google+ OAuth scopes. It’s recommending that developers begin migrating to alternatives in the preceding weeks by following the guides linked here.

Google+’s shutdown — which was originally scheduled for August 2019 — won’t affect G Suite customers. (That is,  businesses, educational institutions, other organizations that use G Suite.) Google said in October that it plans to “continue to invest in Google+” for paying customers, and that it plans to roll out new features  “purpose-built” for businesses — including post moderation tools for admins, tagging, post analytics, and more in the months ahead.

Today’s news follows on the heels that Google will retire classic Hangouts, its cross-platform messaging service, for G Suite customers in October.

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