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Google+ (AKA Google Plus, GPlus, or G+) was a social content hosting silo operated by Google that operated from 2011-06-28 to 2019-04-02. It was also formerly a centralized Google identity service, which has now transitioned to the Google Identity Platform).
https://plus.google.com/ is now a static page that describes the site's shutdown. Before it shut down, there was a yellow banner at the top stating:
Your Google+ account is going away April 2, 2019. Downloading your Google+ content may take time, so get started before March 31, 2019.
Google announced an expedited shutdown date of April 2019 for the consumer version. The initial shutdown date was August 2019.
- 2018-10-08 : Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+ (archived)
- 2018-12-10 : Expediting changes to Google+ (archived)
How to export your data
Google Takeout lets you download a zip with all of your Google+ posts, comments, pictures, etc. It's not linked directly from anywhere within Google+, and doesn't come up as a first search result for common queries, but works fantastically (if a bit slow).
How to POSSE to
It is likely all of this will be irrelevant as of 2019-04-02 when Google+ shuts down for consumers.
Section kept for historical reasons until then.
There's currently no good way to automatically POSSE to Google+. Here are the (bad) options:
- Use the Moments API. As far as we know, though, it doesn't actually surface to users yet.
- Apply for the partner-only Pages API. (Requires signing an NDA.) Known Pro uses this.
- Make a business relationship with Google so you can use a private/partner API, like WordPress's Jetpack Publicize. More details. Here's an example: original post, Google+ post.
- Screen-scrape and use the web endpoints as if you were a normal user. NextScripts SNAP does this.
Why POSSE to
Since Google+ is shutting down 2019-04-02, there is little need to bother with POSSEing to it.
This section is kept here for historical purposes until the shutdown occurs.
There is some evidence that Google+ "+1"s on links affect their search ranking:
- The Moz Blog / : Amazing Correlation Between Google +1s and Higher Search Rankings (http://moz.com/blog/google-plus-correlations)
POSSEing links of your posts to Google+ may help increase +1s on them and thus increase their search ranking.
IndieWeb POSSE Examples
In Outsourcing comments to Google+, 2011 IndieWebCamp participant Will Norris explains how he uses
- Google+ read API
- Google+ +1 button
- in his snowflake plugin for WordPress
to manually create links to his blog posts on Google+ where he then accepts comments (instead of comments on his own blog).
This isn't a full POSSE implementation (which would be cross-posting the entirety of the contents of your blog posts to G+ posts), but rather just a way to manually share links/summaries of your original posts onto G+, similar to POSSEing articles to Twitter.
Past POSSE Examples
Kartik Prabhu manually POSSEd posts and replies to Google+ from 2014-05-26 until 2018-02-18, and has stopped.
- Original post POSSE example (from 2014-05-26) : https://kartikprabhu.com/notes/technologies-ideas-action
- POSSE of a reply: https://kartikprabhu.com/notes/birth-of-idea-phone
Last POSSE 2018-02-18:
Google+ does not have URL permalinks for replies but does have an
id attribute in the
Google+ has a proprietary read API.
Google+ allows you to put a "+1" button on any page that when clicked, does a "+1" (similar to a like) of your page, inside Google+, on the Google+ profile of whoever clicked the button.
Google+ has a proprietary Activities API that is based on (but not actually) ActivityStreams:
Google Search Integration
Google had integrated Google+ across many of their services, e.g. even Google's search shows a toolbar for it when signed into Google+.
How to delete your account
Has anyone deleted their G+ account? What's the process? How long do they hold your data anyway? Etc.
See also: delete your account
Anecdotally there seems to be more interaction on G+ event posts than simple text posts.
If we can figure out a way to automatically create event posts on G+, it might be worth POSSEing indieweb event posts to G+.
It's not obvious how to best publish/POSSE to or comment on G+ in a way that is most easily searchable / findable. Here are some tips:
- only post public posts to G+
Lack of comment permalinks
Comments on Google+ lack their own permalinks, making it very difficult to reference a part of a conversation on a Google+ post.
It's apparently a "Known feature request that's never made it to the head of the priority queue." according to:
Similarly when asked at the 2013 Google I/O conference, Google+ representatives relayed the same message that it's a known feature request and there are still no plans for it.
Occasional IndieAuth login problems
Ben Roberts had used Google+ for login via IndieAuth primarily until there were intermittent failings due to errors in redirects. For example https://plus.google.com/113259788317081930920/posts redirects to https://plus.google.com/+BenRoberts83/posts but Google will occasionally change/break this routing.
- Google Buzz
- 2017-04-18 Losing My Patience with Google+
- 2018-10-09 Criticism thread by former employee: “Now that Google+ has been shuttered, I should air my dirty laundry on how awful the project and exec team was. I'm still pissed about…”
- 2018-10-08 TechCrunch: Google+ to shut down after coverup of data-exposing bug
- Google Identity Platform
- https://gplus-exporter.friendsplus.me/ exports to Wordpress, Blogger and other places
- Criticism: https://twitter.com/Wolfie_Rankin/status/1100603868902187008
- "I went to Google+, but friends on Facebook wouldn't follow, reason being that they didn't need a second "facebook". Secondly G+ banned most of the furries, destroying a huge part of their user base, for using false names. Suggest an alternative." @Wolfie_Rankin February 27, 2019
- The accidental digital archivist - someone moving G+ communities to discourse
- 2011-07-08 Kevin Rose moves blog from personal domain to Google+ https://twitter.com/kevinrose/status/89578599098744832
- "Decided to forward http://kevinrose.com to Google+. G+ gives me more (real-time) feedback and engagement than my blog ever did." @kevinrose July 9, 2011
- 2011-07-09 Kevin Rose forwards personal site to Google+
- 2011-07-14 The great migration to Google+
Yesterday IdeaLab founder Bill Gross followed suit.
- 2011-07-11 Tom Anderson (MySpace) / Techcrunch: How To Build An Audience On The Internet: The Kevin Rose School Vs. The Fred Wilson School
What kind of content creator are you? Kevin Rose or Fred Wilson?
- 2011-07-11 MIT Technology Review: Google+ Marks the End of Blogging as a Means of Personal Expression / When Internet-famous people are tearing down their blogs and pointing their domain names at their Google+ streams, is “web logging” dead?
Prominent tech bloggers, including Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, and Bill Gross, founder of startup incubator Idealab, are giving up their blogs and pointing their eponymous domain names at their Google+ streams.
- 2012-03-15 GigaOM: Google Plus: The problem isn’t design, it’s a lack of demand
- 2011-09-20 Business Insider: ROBERT SCOBLE: Why I'm Still Betting My Future On Google+
- 2012-10-13 Computerworld: Why I blog on Google+ (And how) / The best blogging platform isn't a blogging platform, but Google's social network.