Google Plus Overview Updated August 4, 2021

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305 'Google Plus' stories

June 2011 - August 2021


Google Plus was developed at breakneck speed to counter the rising threat of Facebook in social. Launched in June 2011, Google Plus allowed users to post status updates and organized friends into groups called Circles. There was an instant messaging and video component called Hangouts, as well as a photo backup service.

In addition to being a social network, Plus was meant to be the social layer to all of Google’s other products. A user’s Google Plus profile was used for many other services, like YouTube. The ‘+1’ button was a competitor to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button and was present throughout the web.

Despite the attempts at company-wide integration, Google Plus never really took of among users. In November of 2015, Google unveiled a major redesign that put a renewed focus on Collections and Communities to create an interest-based social network instead.

Popular features like Hangouts and Google Photos were eventually spun out into their own separate and wildly popular product.

Google Plus Stories August 4

Nearly 2M former Google+ users can claim their $2.15 payout from class-action lawsuit

It’s been over two years since Google pulled the plug on its biggest attempt at launching a social network, but many forget a big reason why it was killed off. A privacy breach on Google+ resulted in a class-action lawsuit, and now, millions of former users are getting payouts.

Google Plus Stories August 4, 2020

If you were a member of Google Plus before it shut down last year, odds are you got an email informing you that a class-action lawsuit against Google has been settled.

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Google Plus Stories July 6, 2020

As telegraphed last month to G Suite admins, Google Currents is exiting beta and entering general availability today. The social network shut down last April, but Google is keeping the service alive for enterprise customers that need an internal way to communicate with employees.

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Google Plus Stories October 4, 2019

Google has a reputation for killing off its products. So much so, that there are multiple websites dedicated to tracking the company’s murders. At one of its campuses, Google made an actual product graveyard to decorate for Halloween.

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Google Plus Stories April 2, 2019

RIP: Google+ is officially dead as Google pulls the plug on consumer accounts

It’s official. About eight years after it’s debut, Google has officially pulled the plug on its social network, Google+.

After years of living in the shadow of the social media behemoths, Google’s ill-fated Google+ social network closes its doors today for good. I’d be hard to convince that G+ will be missed by the masses, but none can deny that a certain subset of Google fans and Android users found a community there unlike any other. Here’s what Google+ meant to us.

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Google Plus Stories April 1, 2019

Google is notorious at this point for killing off products seemingly for no reason. Sometimes it’s a shame, other times it goes nearly unnoticed. In the next few weeks, though, Google is preparing to kill off quite a few beloved products including Inbox by Gmail, Google+, Allo, and its URL shortener.

Here’s a calendar of what’s coming and what’s being killed with Google’s “Spring Cleaning.”

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Google Plus Stories March 18, 2019

In just a couple of weeks, Google is shutting down its social network, Google+. While you can download all of your data from the platform directly, the Internet Archive is making sure that content lives on by archiving all public posts on Google+.

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Google Plus Stories March 8, 2019

Google+ is on its deathbed with just a few weeks of life left. Today, another nail goes into the coffin with the announcement that the official Android Beta community is leaving Google+ in exchange for Reddit.

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Google Plus Stories January 30, 2019

It’s been a long road, but Google+ is finally about to kiss this world goodbye. The polarizing social network is losing its consumer version very soon, and now we’ve finally got specific dates. The consumer version of Google+ ends on April 2nd, 2019.

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Google Plus Stories January 10, 2019

[Update: Back] PSA: Google+ is currently down, for the dozen of you who still care

Google’s social network Google+ is very much on its last limbs. The company announced last year that the service would be shutting down in late 2019, and then that timeline was moved up dramatically. Tonight, the service has experienced an interruption.

Google Plus Stories December 21, 2018

Google+ APIs will shut down on March 7th, could start failing next month ahead of April closing

It’s bittersweet to see it go, but Google+ is shutting down in April 2019. The social network has seen security breaches causing its downfall, and ahead of the full closing, Google has just revealed that Google+ APIs will shut down starting on March 7th.

Google Plus Stories December 10, 2018

Just before Made by Google 2018, the company announced that it was shutting down Google+ for consumers after discovering a privacy bug. Google today uncovered a second issue with its social network and is expediting the deprecation as a result.

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Google Plus Stories October 11, 2018

Google+ for G Suite is business as usual, with new features

Earlier this week, awkwardly just ahead of the Made by Google event, it was announced that Google+ was shutting down for consumers. That distinction is important, as we learn today that Google+ for G Suite is getting new business-minded social networking features.

Google Plus Stories October 8, 2018

How to download your Google+ data before it shuts down this April

Well, it finally happened. Google+ is officially being shut down. The ill-fated social network never really had mass adoption, but its core user base is certainly already pretty vocal about it going away, though. If you’re an avid user, here’s how to download Google+ data before it gets shut down.

According to the Wall Street Journal this morning, Google discovered a user data bug in Google+ last spring. However, the issue appears to not have been abused by any third-party developers. The company opted to not disclose the issue, but in response is now shutting down the failed social network for consumers.

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Google Plus Stories August 24, 2018

Google France shuts down official Google+ page, directs followers to Twitter & Facebook

Google+, despite a collection of passionate users, has never been all that much of a success for Google. Now, hilariously, Google is shutting down one of its official pages on the social network and directing users to the competition.

Google Plus Stories April 26, 2018

Google+ killing older Android and iOS versions w/ photo backup functionality next month

Following the launch of Photos in May 2015, Google began winding down similar functionality in Google+. A full deprecation of the remaining backup feature is now set for next month as older versions of the Android and iOS apps will stop working.

Google Plus Stories April 24, 2018

Google Calendar and Google+ on the web gain new G Suite profile information cards

Last week, G Suite began rolling out a new enterprise-grade version of Education to its customers, while major launches in recent months include the addition of Hangouts Chat. Today, G Suite is adding convenient new profile information cards on web apps.

Google Plus Stories March 27, 2018

Google+ adds new ‘Highlight’ notification for communities and collections

There are a lot of things Google+ does better than other social networks, but notifications have never been one of them. Especially in the case of communities, notifications have only ever had two levels — all in or nothing. Now, though, Google is introducing a new “Highlights” feature for notifications on the social network.

Google Plus Stories March 6, 2018

Google+ for Android adopts a brighter design, white bottom bar

Last month, Google+ for Android received a “complete rewrite” that featured “subtle updates,” but otherwise reminded visually unchanged. The latest version is rolling out today and it includes a brighter, white design.

Google Plus Stories February 6, 2018

Remember Google+? While many of us have ditched the platform in recent years, Google has put a lot of time into improving it for those who are still big fans of the service. Now, Google is preparing to launch a “brand new version” of Google+ for Android.

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Google Plus Stories December 14, 2017

Google+ makes comment moderation tools available to all users

Following this week’s addition of advanced search filters and more stats for Community moderators, Google+ is now gaining more tools to moderate comments. Specifically, all users will be able to delete, report, and block comments on their posts.

Google Plus Stories December 12, 2017

Google+ adds advanced search filters, ‘Insights’ tab w/ Community stats for mods, owners

Google’s nascent social network geared towards Collections and Communities is gaining advanced search features to make it easier to find posts. Meanwhile, Google+ is also adding more metrics for Community moderators and G Suite admins.

Google Plus Stories September 21, 2017

Google+ posts on the web redesigned with simplified comments view

Google+ has a small but rabid following, and — believe it or not — it still gets updated with new features. The most recent was a new “Discover” feature that highlights the best content on the social network. Today’s update is smaller, but brings a key change to how comments are displayed.

Google Plus Stories August 16, 2017

Google+’s continued focus on Collections and Communities has served the social network rather well since its 2015 relaunch. The service is now launching a new Discover feature to to surface the best content.

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Google Plus Stories July 27, 2017

Launching six years ago last month, Google+ has since refocused on becoming an interest-based network centered around Collections and Communities. Google today reopened its Early Access program for the social product that allows fans to beta test new features.

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Google Plus Stories June 28, 2017

When social media comes to mind you probably think about Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram. The butt of the joke with social media, though, has long been Google+. You’ve probably heard dozens of times that it’s a “dead” platform, but six years later to the day it’s still chugging along.

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Google Plus Stories April 27, 2017

Google+ adds ‘Topics’ to help find high-quality content from Communities and Collections

Google+ is a niche community in the bigger picture of online social networks, but it’s one that’s filled to the brim with Google fans. Now, those super-fans — yes, some of us included — have a new way to find content from Communities and Collections: Topics…

Google Plus Stories March 28, 2017

One of the lesser-known features found in Google+ was the ability to share your exact location with people in your circles. Now, with the wider rollout of the new location sharing feature coming to Google Maps, this functionality has been removed from the social network.

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Google Plus Stories January 17, 2017

google_plus_android

In late 2015, Google+ received a significant redesign and a new focus on Communities and Collections. While Google iterated on this new version, the old version remained accessible. With a slew of new features coming, including Events, the classic interface will no longer be available as of later this month.

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Google Plus Stories January 11, 2017

raisr-info-width-2000

Back in November, Google showed off a machine learning technique that enhances low-res and blurry images. The RAISR technique is now being used in Google+ to display high-resolution photos while using an impressive 75% less bandwidth.

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Google Plus Stories September 21, 2016

Google+ becomes part of Google Apps for Work’s core services

Google Plus is a social media network that is either fantastic or a ghost town depending on who you ask. Google has long stood behind its social network and is now looking to bring it — in an officially supported capacity — to the enterprise market. Starting today, Google+ is a “core” service packaged alongside other officially supported Google Apps for Work services…

Google Plus Stories September 8, 2016

Google+ on the web adds push notifications in Chrome

Its redesign is now old news, but Google is still slowly adding features to Google+ — and recently they quietly added push notifications on the desktop. Through Google Chrome, users can now get their notifications pushed to them on top of active windows. While this isn’t for everybody (it is Google+, of course), this should prove useful for those who actively use the social network and want to quickly respond to any new mentions or post notifications.

Google Plus Stories August 15, 2016

youtube-home

Over the past several months we’ve been seeing Google moving various services away from Google+. The app no longer comes pre-loaded on Android devices, you no longer need a Google+ account for YouTube or Google Play, and now the company is cutting another chunk out of the social network, Hangouts on Air.

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Google Plus Stories June 9, 2016

Paranoid Android 2016Following the acquisition by OnePlus back in February 2015, most of the team working on the Paranoid Android ROM fled to the Chinese company’s shore to work on the Oxygen OS, which eventually made its way to the OnePlus 2 and its sibling smartphones.

There was no indication that the team would make a comeback, but as per a post released today, it looks like death previsions were everything but right…

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Google Plus Stories April 13, 2016

New Google+ Content Controls flag spam and inappropriate posts in Communities

The latest iteration of Google+ heavily revolves around Collections and Communities. To help prevent spam and inappropriate content, Communities now have more aggressive content controls and filters that will flag posts. Google is gradually rolling out the new filters to existing communities…

Google Plus Stories March 10, 2016

google-plus-create

When Google+ launched in 2011, one of its marquee features was grouping people into circles. There was a nifty drag-and-drop interface and the ability to limit posts to specific circles. Last year’s Google+ redesign hid the feature, but an update to the Android app now resurfaces it. The social network is also launching Google+ Create to recognize top content creators and give them access to early features.

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Google Plus Stories February 24, 2016

Google+ 7.3 pre-renders pages on WiFi, adds notification filtering, moderation tools, more

An update to Google+ for Android will now preload webpages when on WiFi, adds notification filtering, Community moderation tools, and more in addition to other bug fixes.

Google Plus Stories January 25, 2016

google-play-games

Over the weekend, Google announced changes to Play Games permissions that are mostly meant for developers, but regular users who game on Android will also see a benefit. Players no longer need their Google accounts upgraded to Google+ to use Play Games and can now automatically be signed-in with a standard Google account.

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Google Plus Stories January 20, 2016

Google testing opening links via Chrome Custom Tabs in Google+ app

Some users are reporting that links in Google+ for Android are opening as Chrome Custom Tabs. The feature introduced and released last year opens links twice as fast when compared to being pushed out to a browser. The update appears to be triggered server-side and was apart of last week’s update.

Google Plus Stories January 15, 2016

Inbox by Gmail adds Photos-integreated attachment picker, posts can be pinned to Google+ Profile

Google has been sprucing up their web apps this week as the first new updates of 2016 start to trickle in. Inbox by Gmail on the web adds a super convenient photo and attachment picker, while Google Plus now allows users to pin posts to their profiles.

Google Plus Stories January 13, 2016

Google+ 7.0.0 for Android rolling out with improved search, auto-hiding bottom tab bar, more

Google, Luke Wroblewski has shared some information on a new version of the Google Plus app which should be rolling out to the Play Store over the next couple of days. The G+ update will take the social networking app up to version 7.0.0 and includes a number of requested new features, as well as a boatload of bug fixes.

In the latest version of Google’s Android app, users should notice that the bottom tab bar is automatically hidden whenever they’re scrolling up or down any page (except the notifications screen). It may seem like a minor design change, but it does free up more screen real estate for actual content, and makes the app look a lot less cluttered.

Another new useful feature (which I can’t quite believe wasn’t already there) is the autocomplete suggestions which show up as you type in the search bar. As well as that, the home stream will now remember your position if you happen to go to a different screen within the app, so you don’t have to scroll down to find where you were when you return to it.

Lastly, along with the 69 bug fixes and 14 accessibility issues that were addressed, the new Google Plus app places a prompt on your profile to add a Collection or Community if you don’t have one. As we all know by now, Google Plus is now all about the Collections and Communities.

The updated app is available on the Play Store from today. If you have it installed, the update should show up on your device over the next day or two, if it hasn’t already.

Google Plus Stories December 12, 2015

Google-plus-redesign

Following the recent major Google Plus update and renewed focus on Communities and Collections, the social network’s web view recently updated with a few much-needed tweaks. Googler, Luke Wroblewski posted to his profile with details of the new changes being made to the online version.

As you’d expect, many of these new changes are being released to strengthen the Communities and Collections experiences. Within Community pages, the sidebar now has links taking you directly to individual categories specific to that Community. What’s more, you can now pin posts within Collections, and there’s a clearer notification indicator on the home stream to inform you how many notifications you have to read through. Google has also built in a new pop-up window to make sure you don’t lose new posts when you switch to a different page.

Perhaps of most relief is the new toggle which lets you switch auto-playing GIFs on or off. Apparently opinion was divided on whether they should auto-play, or not. Some loved it, others hated it, so Google gave users the option to choose. Details and images of the new features are below:

G+ Web Preview Update 12/11 Today we’re rolling out several updates to our G+ preview on the Web including:

* Visible links to categories on Community pages * Auto-play of animated GIFs (with a setting to turn on/off) * Ability to pin posts within Collections * Clearer indication of notifications on the home stream * Warning to ensure you don’t lose new posts when changing pages

Some of these changes were unanimously requested (people want community categories visible!). Others required us to strike an appropriate balance between opposing feedback (some people love animated GIFs, others don’t!). In all cases, we really appreciate your thoughts so please keep them coming using the Send Feedback menu item.

Screen Shot 2015-12-12 at 16.53.45

Google Plus Stories November 26, 2015

$100 Google Play gift card for under $80 shipped (20% off)

From 9to5Toys.com:

As expected from its leaked Black Friday ad, Sam’s Club is now offering a $100 Google Play gift card for $79.64 shipped. That’s more than 20% off your next Google Play purchases on games, apps, movies, TV shows and more. While we do see iTunes gift cards go on sale quite often, these Google Play vouchers are much harder to come by. They can be amazing gifts for Android users and anyone who’s locked into Google’s video services.

It ships free and can be redeemed on the web or Android devices. Full details/instructions can be found below. Head over to 9to5Toys for all of the best Black Friday deals the entire weekend-long.

Includes:

One (1) $100 Google Play gift card

To redeem on the web:

  1. Go to play.google.com/redeem.
  2. Scratch label off of card & enter code.
  3. Start shopping – your gift card value will be added to your Google Play balance.

To redeem on an Android phone/tablet:

  1. Launch the Google Play Store app on your Android phone or tablet.
  2. Select Redeem.
  3. Scratch label off of card & enter code.
  4. Start shopping – your gift card value will be added to your Google Play balance.

Specifications

Terms and Conditions

Use of card subject to additional terms and privacy policy: play.google.com/about/card-terms.html. Valid only for users 13+ years of age and resident of U.S. Redemption requires Google Wallet account and internet access. Limits may apply to redemption and use. No fees or expiration dates applicable to this card. Card may be used for purchases of eligible items on Google Play only. Any refunded amount will be credited back to your Google Play balance for future use under same terms. Card is not redeemable for cash or other cards; not reloadable or refundable; cannot be combined with other non-Google Play balances in your Google Wallet account, resold, exchanged or transferred for value (except as required by law). Once card is purchased, risk of loss and title for card passes to purchaser. Google Payment Corp. and its affiliates disclaim all express or implied warranties as to the Google Play card and Google Play.

Google Plus Stories November 17, 2015

Here’s how to manually opt-in to the new Google+ UI on the web

The new Google+ interface is rolling out on the web today, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t have much patience for slow rollouts. I still hadn’t been prompted to click the “Let’s go” button and get the new layout, but luckily I stumbled on a way (via Sean S) to opt myself in without any wait time. Here’s how…

Google-plus-redesign

Google is rolling out a redesigned Google+ today hat it says focuses on two features, Communicates and Collections, that people said kept them coming back to the service. expand full story

Google Plus Stories August 31, 2015

Google+ for iOS updated with ‘Collections’ feature

Google+ Collections, a feature that lets like-minded Google+ users connect in forums organized by topic, today comes to iOS devices after first rolling out for Android and web users a few months back.

Users can create Collections for topics they’re interested in and follow Collections created by other users to keep track of posts related to their interests. Google shared a few examples of popular Collections including Homebrewing, Climbing Junkie Photos, Magical, Mystical Mountains and Marine Life. It also features select Collections on a webpage here for easy searching.

When you post a Collection, Google notes that you’ll be able to customize who sees it thanks to recent improvements to the feature on Android that also come to iOS today. It also recently added the ability to add taglines to Collections and search for them on mobile devices. 

The Collections feature is available now in the updated Google+ iOS app with version 4.8.5.

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