Now, Google has formally released the timeline for how and when Google+ will go away.
Launched in 2011, Google+ was expected to be the company's answer to Facebook with a number of similar features. However, it didn't gain much traction over the years. While Google+ will cease to exist from April 2, 2019, the company now says it will start removing some of the features as early as February 4.
After first announcing a fairly gracious timeline for shutting the platform down, Google+ saw its sunset sped up dramatically after a second data breach was revealed and impacted millions. Clearly, Google is wasting no time in clearing Google+ off of the web.
Google notes that the process of deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts, pages, and Album Archive will take a few months, so users may still see some of their content available throughout that time.
The timeline is as follows:
As early as February 4th, you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities, or events.
The Google+ feature for website comments will be removed by Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2nd.
Google+ sign-in buttons will stop working in the coming weeks, but in some cases will be replaced by a Google sign-in button.
Google+ Community owners and moderators who are downloading data from their Community will gain additional data for download starting early March 2019. That includes author, body, and photos for every community post in a public community.
On April 2nd, all Google+ accounts and pages will be shut down and Google will begin deleting content from consumer Google+ accounts. Photos and videos from Google+ in users' Album Archive and Google+ pages will also be deleted. Photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
If you have used Google+ to sign into sites and apps, those buttons will stop working soon, but in some cases will be replaced by a Google sign-in button. In these instances, you’ll be able to sign in with your Google account in lieu of Google+.
Stock photo from Sharaf Maksumov