(Google Doc version: https://lauren.vortex.com/google-plus)
Google – “You can count on us!”
An important announcement about Google+
Dear Google+ users,
We have some bad news for you. We hope you’re sitting down. If you’re driving, please pull over safely before reading the remainder of this message.
We know that many of you have built major parts of your lives around Google+, beginning back in 2011. Over the years since, we have encouraged you to share your experiences and photos, to build Communities and Collections. We know that large numbers of you have spent hours every day on G+, and have built up networks of friends with whom you communicate every day on G+.
And we know that in our rush to maximize G+ participation and engagement, we made some pretty poor decisions, like that period where we integrated YouTube comments and G+ posts, requiring YouTube commenters to create G+ accounts — managing to upset both communities in the process. But you know the motto — move fast and break things!
Now we just want to get out from under Google+. And you’re going to be the collateral damage. Please understand that it’s nothing personal. It’s just business.
So we’re shutting down G+. We’ll be shutting it down this coming August, uh April, uh as soon as we can locate the Google+ SRE in charge. We’ve been trying to page them for months but they’re not answering. We’re pretty sure that there’s a G+ control dashboard in our systems somewhere — when we find it we’ll pull the switch and you’ll all be history.
We could yank your chains and claim that killing G+ is all about poor engagement and API problems and whatnot, but we know you’d see through that, and frankly we just don’t want you around anymore. You’re more trouble than you’re worth to a firm that is pivoting ever more toward serving businesses who actually pay us with actual money. Of course, many businesses now claim that they’ve lost faith in us due to our behavior killing services and mistreating users on the consumer side, but we’ll throw them some usage credits and they’ll come around. You can always buy user trust!
The ad business just isn’t what it used to be. We need new users in new places! Governments are breathing down our necks, ad blockers are reducing ad impressions and conversions, and a bunch of would be do-gooders are making a fuss about our plans to set up a censored search engine in China. You know how many Chinese are in China? More than you can count on your fingers and toes, believe us!
And speaking of business, we’ll be continuing G+ over on our enterprise/business products, at least until it becomes inconvenient for us to keep doing so. And before you ask, no, you can’t pay for continued access to consumer G+ or bundle it with Google One, and you can’t have a pony or anything like that. Get this through your heads. You’re not our target users or target demographics. We just don’t care about you.
Now, after we’ve said all that, we hope that you won’t get too upset if we ask for your help in killing off G+ with a minimum of public attention from bloggers and the media.
Since we routinely provide the means for you to download your data from Google, you can download your G+ posts before we drive a stake through the heart of the G+ data center clusters. We don’t know what the hell you’re going to do with that data, since you’re going to lose contact with all your followers and friends you’ve built up over the years on G+, but did you really expect us to bother providing a tool to help you stay in contact with them after G+ is tossed into the dumpster? We recommend that you just forget about those people, like we’re forgetting about you. It’s easy with practice.
Oh, here’s another thing. You might expect that with the shutdown of G+ so close, we wouldn’t still be soliciting for new G+ users, and you might think that we’d have “butter bar” banners up warning users of the shutdown and providing continuing updates. You might expect us to email G+ users about what’s going on.
But, c’mon, you know us better than that. Remember, we just don’t care, so there are no banners, no continuing informational updates, and — get this! — we’re still soliciting for new G+ users to sign up, without so much as giving them a clue that they’re signing up for a service that is “dead man walking” already! The poor ignorant slobs! Pretty funny, huh? And the only users we’ve emailed about the G+ shutdown are at sites using our G+ APIs, which we’re going to start dismantling in late January. It’s going to be quite a show, because that’s going to break vast numbers of websites that made the mistake of deeply embedding G+ APIs into their systems. Hey, to quote “Otter” from “Animal House” — “You f*cked up! You trusted us!”
So it’s up to you all to spread the word about what’s going on, because we’ve got better things to do than dealing with G+ losers. You’re so yesterday!
OK, ’nuff said! We’ve already spent more time on this note than we should have, and talking to you guys isn’t advancing any of our careers. Be glad that we’re posting this in a nice dark font that you can actually read — we could have used “Material Design” and then sat here chuckling, knowing that so many of you would be squinting and getting migraine headaches from trying to read this.
But we’re not cruel. We just don’t care about you. There’s a big difference! Please keep that in mind.
Thanks for being the guinea pigs in our social media experiment that was Google+. Now back to your cages!
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Lauren Weinstein / lauren.vortex.com / 22 January 2019 / https://plus.google.com/+LaurenWeinstein / https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein